Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Punch

I wanted to come up with a catchier name for this, but it just isn't in me. Autumn Punch? No, that could be a lot of things. I guess this mouthful will have to do. 

I was invited to a autumn food themed party this past weekend. It was a "bring-something-to-share" sort of affair. My wife decided that pumpkin cupcakes were the order of the day. While I didn't disagree, I do love pumpkin after all, I felt that the folks who invited me would be a bit disappointed if I didn't bring something a bit more alcoholic in nature. So I set to work doing just that. I wanted something with bourbon in it, naturally. I was hoping to use the homemade cranberry juice as I thought it would pair well with the bourbon in a punch sort of setting. I googled Cranberry Bourbon Punch and found quite a few recipes. All of them were similar, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. I wanted this to be light and refreshing, but also with a hint of the autumnal spiced feel to it. 

Based on the reactions I got to it, I at least came up with something worth sharing. The ladies couldn't stop gushing and certainly wanted, and consumed more than one glass. The guys thought it was good, but ended up turning back to the beer before too long. I was happy to have multiple glasses myself. Good thing this works out to about 2.25% ABV once it's all said and done, lowers the risk of over-consumption. I found this to be fruity with just the right hint of spice. Any more and it would have felt too much like you let your spiced cider go cold.

Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Punch

Juice Blend
5 cups + 1 oz cranberry juice 
1.5 cups pineapple juice 
1 cup orange juice 
1/3 cup lemon juice 

2 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 tsp whole cloves
3 white cardamom pods

The Rest
1 cup bourbon
1 bottle (2L size) ginger ale, chilled


The Procedure

  • Combine fruit juices.
  • Measure out 2 cups of juice blend and put in a sauce pan along with cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, simmer for five minutes. Strain out everything but the cinnamon sticks. Allow to cool. 
  • Fish out the cinnamon sticks. Recombine juice blend with spiced juice blend. 
  • Add bourbon. 
  • Refrigerate until well chilled.
  • Serve mixed 50-50 with chilled ginger ale.