To make a simple cranberry holiday punch, you need 4 cups of cranberry juice, 1 bottle of sparkling cider, 1 liter of ginger ale, 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 12 ounces of vodka (optional) and an orange. Slice the orange into circles, and place the fruit slices and ice cubes at the bottom of a large punch bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl and stir.
To make a warm, spiced cranberry holiday punch, gather 8 whole cardamom pods, 2 cinnamon sticks, 12 whole cloves, 4 cups of dry red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon), 2 6-ounce cans of frozen cranberry juice concentrate and 2 2/3 cups of water. You also need 1/2 cup of honey, 1 cup of creme de cassis liqueur and 1 sliced orange.
Pinch the cardamom pods to release the seeds. Combine the cinnamon, cardamom seeds and cloves on a piece of cheesecloth. Shape the cloth into a pouch, and then tie up the pouch with a string.
Pour the wine, cranberry juice, honey and water into a pot or saucepan, and warm the liquid on low heat. Submerge the spice packet in the punch, and allow it to steep for at least 15 minutes or up to four hours, depending on the intensity of spice you desire. Keep the stove on a low setting throughout the steeping process, and avoid boiling the punch.
Serve with creme de cassis and an orange slice in each cup.