We are now in what I call the Holiday Donut Hole, which is the brief period of time between gorging yourself at Christmas and gorging yourself for New Year’s. Personally, I’m taking these few days to do some healthy eating, but it’s definitely worth starting to plan for New Year’s, especially if you are throwing a party.

Call me crazy, but I’ve never really been a fan of the New Year’s bar scene – especially in a big city. You just pay a lot for some usually sub-par food and a few glasses of champagne in a packed restaurant. Not really my idea of a good way to ring in the new year. Instead I find it much more fun to hang out with a few friends at a house with food, drink, and games.

If you do happen to be throwing a party (or attending one and willing to lug some ingredients around), it’s always a good idea to have a solid punch. Most punch recipes make a lot of tasty drink for a fairly economical price tag – especially if your alternative is going out on the town.

Over the last week I’ve been browsing through some punch recipes and here are eight favorites that caught my eye!

AB EggNog – I made this great eggnog recipe last year and it’s definitely worth revisiting. Homemade eggnog is so superior to the stuff you buy in the store; it’s not even close. Traditional eggnog is made with raw egg but this version is made with eggs that I pasteurized over a double boiler. Makes it safer and doesn’t really affect the taste.

Pomegranate Champagne Punch – Pomegranates are in season and Champagne is about as New Year’s as it gets! If people bring a lot of cheap champagne to your party this year, feel free to put them to use! Also, this post has a bonus eggnog recipe! (@ Bon Appetit)

Fig and Cinnamon Punch – Love these flavors over the holidays or for any winter celebration. (@ Serious Eats)

Jasper’s Rum Punch – Sometimes punches are too packed with sweeteners and have generally too many ingredients. This one, I imagine, tastes like what it’s supposed to taste like: rum. The recipe is the exact opposite of the Cotillion punch recipe. It’s written for one serving. You’ll need to times it by a few dozen to get a good punch recipe ready. (@ Kaiser Penguin)

Wassail – The phrase means “Be Healthy” which is always a good New Year’s resolution. The recipe has some steps, but the result is an awesome spiced wine punch. It’d be great for a cold December 31st night. (@ use real butter)

Mulled Apple Cider – A pretty straightforward recipe involving cinnamon, apple juice and mulled spices. Of course the rum is optional or, if you wanted, just stick a bottle of rum near the punch and people can add it to taste. (@ Phoo-D) If you wanted to pass on the mulled spices, you could make your own from scratch using this recipe (@ Elena’s Pantry)

Those are a few of the punch recipes I’m thinking about trying out this year, but how about you? Leave a comment with your favorite punch!

Photo by AlleyesonJenny.