Cranberry Citrus Paloma Punch is a fresh large batch holiday cocktail made with ripe grapefruit and citrus juices, cranberry, tequila and soda. You’ll be the hit of all your holiday parties when you arrive with a big ‘ole punch bowl full of this light fizzy punch.
Big batch paloma punch
Inspired by both the Paloma cocktail and retro party punches this large batch cocktail is fresh, fruity, fizzy and delicious!
The tart cranberry, lime and grapefruit balance the sweetness from the fresh squeezed orange juice and grapefruit citrus soda for a light refreshing holiday punch.
Traditional paloma cocktails are the most popular tequila-based cocktail in Mexico and are made with tequila and grapefruit soda. This winter paloma punch recipe plays off the same combination of flavors but adds in fresh cranberry puree to give it even more flavor and color. Making it the perfect large batch cocktail recipe for winter parties when both citrus and cranberry are in season.
Serving a crowd of drinkers and non drinkers? Punches are a perfect non alcoholic beverage option or mocktail, that you can also choose to turn into a cocktail if desired. If you’re serving a variety of people simply leave the tequila out for an alcohol free winter citrus punch.
Then leave a bottle or two of tequila nearby for guests to spike their glasses as desired.
- Fresh cranberries – to make cranberry puree, or substitute 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. There’s always an open but barely used bag of cranberries in my fridge over the holidays and I love that this delicious punch makes good use of them in three ways. Whole cranberries in the ice, pureed cranberries in the punch and ground cranberries in the garnish.
- Grapefruit juice – fresh squeezed or unsweetened bottled juice
- Orange juice – fresh squeezed or purchased
- Lime juice – fresh squeezed
- Tequila – blanco preffered
- Squirt® – or other grapefruit soda.
Step by step instructions
Simply build this big batch cocktail directly in the punchbowl.
- Prepare ingredients by making fresh cranberry puree and squeezing orange, grapefruit and lime juice. The fresh cranberry puree and fresh fruit juices add an amazing flavor that can not be replicated. But in a pinch you can substitute cranberry juice and bottled grapefruit, orange and lime juice.
- Add ice to punchbowl.
- Pour in the fresh cranberry puree.
- Then add fresh grapefruit, lime, and orange juices.
- Add tequila, including more or less than the recipe calls for depending on your tastes and what sort of holiday soiree you’re throwing. I suggest anywhere from 1.5-3 cups tequila.
- Finish with grapefruit soda.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to make ahead of time
To make this Paloma Punch ahead of time simply mix all ingredients except soda and ice in punchbowl. Then top with soda and add ice immediately before serving so that the ice stays whole and the soda stays fizzy.
How to serve
Large batch cocktails like this punch are perfect for parties because they’re an excellent way to feature a fun themed beverage without playing bartender all night. Simply mix it all up ahead of time and let your guests serve themselves!
Include garnishes like citrus slices, cocktail straws and even some pink cranberry salt to rim the glasses with. Because even big batch cocktails and punches still deserve beautiful finishing touches 😉
The Pink Cranberry Salt is simply a mix of tart cranberries, salt and a little sugar. The mix of tart, salty and sweet plays on the traditional tajin rim. Add in some some spicy chili powder like ancho chili or cayenne.
Citrus and cranberry ice rounds are a play off the traditional ice ring. But they are even better because the small muffin-tin sized ice rounds fit perfectly in the punch glasses and they keep the punch cold for hours.
Also include an extra a 2 liter of Squirt next to the punch bowl to freshen up the paloma punch as needed. And you can even include a bottle of tequila on the side for people who want to add even more tequila.
This paloma punch recipe yields roughly 120 ounces of punch, or about 15 liquid cups. Standard punch glasses are anywhere from 4-6 ounces each. Which means that this recipe makes 20-30 servings of punch, enough for about 10-15 people.
Cranberry Citrus Paloma Punch
- ½ cup cranberry puree or 1 cup 100% cranberry juice, unsweetened
- 2 cups grapefruit juice fresh squeezed or unsweetened
- ½ cup orange juice fresh squeezed from 2 medium naval oranges
- 1 cup lime juice fresh squeezed from 6-8 limes
- 2 cups tequila blanco
- 2 liters grapefruit soda like Squirt®
- 4 cups ice
Fresh Cranberry Puree
- ¾ cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons water
Sweet Cranberry Salt
- 3 fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- Prepare cranberry puree by blending cranberries until smooth, adding water as needed to get the mixture moving.
- Pulse salt, sugar and a few cranberries in a food processor or blender about 5 times until it's the texture of wet sand to make Sweet Cranberry Salt. Set aside.
- Build punch in the bowl of your serving dish. Fill with citrus and cranberry ice then add cranberry puree and citrus juices.
- Serve with a dish of salt and grapefruit or lime wedges to salt the rim.