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Cranberry-Mint Holiday Punch
Cranberry-Mint Holiday Punch Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Nothing is worse than being stuck behind the bar at your own party. In the summer, we solved the problem with portable cocktails, and now we’re offering a more seasonally appropriate solution: a bowl of punch. This large-batch cocktail combines fresh mint, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, vodka and--our favorite part--sparkling wine (learn how to pop that bottle here). It’s sure to keep your guests’ Champagne coupes full without any fuss. Now that’s how you bring good cheer.

RELATED: 5 Hot Cocktails You Absolutely Need in Your Life

15 servings

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup roughly torn fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 cup sugar

Zest of 1 orange

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 cups vodka, chilled

2 cups orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Cointreau)

2 cups cranberry juice, chilled

1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled

1. Spread the cranberries on a baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer and chill until the berries are completely frozen (at least an hour).

2. In a medium bowl, combine the mint with the sugar and orange zest. Use the top of a wooden spoon handle to muddle the mint and orange zest into the sugar. Pour the sugar mixture into a small saucepan and add the orange juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a punch bowl, mix the vodka with the orange liqueur and cranberry juice. Add the orange-mint syrup and stir to combine.

4. Just before serving, add the sparkling wine and the frozen cranberries (they will help keep the punch nice and cold). Ladle into serving glasses and garnish with more mint.

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