This virgin mulled cranberry punch is perfect for the holidays! Made with Ocean Spray Wholeberry™ Cranberry plus citrus and seasonal spices, it is best enjoyed warm, whether you are the designated driver or not!
Post in collaboration with Ocean Spray® Wholeberry™ cranberry
I know this is going to sound strange coming from me – a cocktail appreciator – but this virgin mulled cranberry punch may well be my favourite festive drink! It all started with trying the new Ocean Spray® Wholeberry™ cranberry fruit juice drink blend. It contains 40 whole crushed cranberries per glass and no added sugar or preservatives. I loved it from the first sip (cranberries are my jam anyway) and so did the kids.
But much as I love drinking it cold, it turns out it makes a wicked winter hot drink too. Wicked, except not really, because this mulled cranberry punch contains no alcohol (I can hear the gasps!). But I can honestly say you won’t miss it because it is spicy/comforting and very much reminiscent of mulled wine, but suitable for minors and designated drivers. My kids actually surprised me by LOVING this and drinking their little mugs of mulled punch in front of the fire while making their Santa lists.
PS: I don’t believe, even for a minute, that either kid actually believes in Santa anymore (they are 11 and 7), but the ruse continues, all the better to ask me for expensive electronic games and stuff they don’t need and won’t ever play with outside of Christmas day.
But back to the virgin mulled cranberry punch… Like mulled wine it contains citrus fruit and spices like cinnamon and star anise, plus fresh ginger and agave syrup for a little sweetness. It only needs about 5-7 minutes of very gentle simmering until it is ready to pour and it will warm you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
What’s even better is that once it cools it can be stored and the flavour from the spices will intensify and infuse the juice even more. I just popped a mug in the microwave for 30 seconds to serve some the following day and it was just the tonic I needed after a totally freezing, wet and muddy morning walk with the two dogs.
I think I will be making this virgin mulled cranberry punch at this year’s Christmas school fair and during our annual tree decorating extravaganza which, in many ways, is the highlight of the holiday season for me. But I may also keep a jug in the fridge for warming up while typing up new blogposts…
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- 850 ml | 2 cups Ocean spray Wholeberry cranberry 1 carton
- juice 1 one large orange
- 80 ml | 1/3 cup agave syrup – or to taste
- peel of 1 orange
- 1 orange sliced thinly
- 1 lemon sliced thinly
- 2 cm /1inch piece fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 3 cloves
- fresh cranberries and orange peel to garnish optional
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer.
- Stir for 5-7 minutes until hot. Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Taste for sweetness - the juice is quite tart so you might need to add more agave syrup if you prefer your punch a little sweet.
- Strain to a jug or leave the spices in, if you prefer, as the taste will intensify.
- Serve warm, in mugs or glasses, garnished with cranberries threaded onto cocktail sticks and a strip of orange peel.
If you have any leftover punch, store in the fridge and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before serving.