The 4 Best Punch Bowls of 2024
The best punch bowls add a touch of elegance to get-togethers at your home, but they’re also a practical alternative to serving up fancy, individual cocktails that trap hosts in the role of the party’s bartender.
“Punch bowls are great for serving large-batch cocktails and punches that you make in advance,” says Sommer. “That way, during an event, you can let people serve themselves so you can focus on other things, rather than bartending all night.” The best punch bowl is one that’s big enough to hold plenty of drinks and fits with your style.
“We have an old glass punch bowl with a metal base,” explains Sommer. “We’ve had it for 25 years. It is clear glass with a pretty pattern pressed into the glass.” The classic shape and style has continued to work for her even as her style has evolved over the years. There are many types of punch bowls, including glass punch bowls, crystal, stainless steel, sets with ladles and glasses, and even some unique, themed punch bowls.
With so many options, Sommer and I scoured the market for top-quality punch bowls in various sizes and different materials to help you find the best punch bowls for your next celebration.
Our Top Picks:
- Sommer’s Top Pick: Viski Admiral Crystal Punch Bowl Set – $58.97 at Walmart
- Best Large Plastic: Party Essentials Embossed Serving Bowl Set – $40.04 at Amazon
- Best Splurge Set: Barski Glass 10 Piece Punch Bowl Set – $239.93 at Amazon
- Best Stainless Steel: Elegance Stainless Steel Doublewall Punch Bowl – $117.33 at Amazon
Reviews of The Best Punch Bowls
1. Sommer’s Top Pick: Viski Admiral Crystal Punch Bowl Set
This cut-crystal set is our top pick for the best punch bowls because it has the same classic appeal as Sommer’s own vintage punch bowl, and would add a dressy touch to any celebration. Clear glass is ideal for showing off brightly colored punches or other beverages garnished with fresh fruit (like Pineapple Sugarcane Water) because you can easily see the drink through the sides. Plus the solid footed base means it’s harder to tip over.
The set comes with eight tumblers. We particularly like that you can purchase additional matching glasses in sets of four, so you have the option of building a set that’s ready to serve larger parties. Other matching barware is available from Viski as well. Like any large bowl, it’s also multifunctional. For example, you could also use this one for serving a trifle, like Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle with Cran-Pomegranate Sauce.
- Material: Crystal
- Capacity: 2.5 gallons (10 quarts)
- Diameter: 10.65 inches
- Features: 8 glasses included
- Dishwasher safe
- Matching additional glasses are also available
- Crystal is more fragile than plastic or metal
- Does not include a matching ladle
What Others Are Saying
Food & Wine voted the Viski Admiral Crystal Punch Bowl one of their top picks for the best punch bowls.
2. Best Large Plastic: Party Essentials Embossed Serving Bowl Set
For a rowdy crowd or events with lots of kids, a plastic punch bowl might give you more peace of mind. That way, you don’t have to worry about anyone breaking your good glassware. Not to mention, they’re often much more affordable than glass or metal. Picking a plastic bowl doesn’t mean it has to be basic—this large option is decorated with an embossed floral pattern but is still clear enough for presenting a pretty punch.
The 12-quart capacity is perfect if you’re hosting larger groups, and it’s made with thick, durable, and lightweight plastic. The punch bowl is sold both individually (just the bowl) or in a set with a ladle, tongs, and 12 stemless plastic wine glasses, but the set offers a little more bang for the buck.
- Material: Plastic
- Capacity: 3 gallons (12 quarts)
- Diameter: 14.05 inches
- Features: Sold as just the bowl or as a set with cups and ladle
- Plastic is less fragile than glass
- Can also be used as a serving bowl for other snacks or dishes
- Less expensive
- Hand wash only
3. Best Splurge Set: Barski Glass 10 Piece Punch Bowl Set
If you prefer a more neutral or minimalist look, this clear glass punch bowl is frill-free and would be at home with just about any table setting. Made from European glass by Barski, a brand that specializes in traditional glass and crystal tableware, this punch bowl set is a worthwhile investment piece that also makes a perfect housewarming or wedding gift.
It has a taller profile than some of the other products on this list and stands almost 11 inches high. It comes in a complete set with a ladle and eight mug-style punch cups, which each hold 12 ounces of your drink of choice. Just keep in mind that glass ladles can be particularly fragile, so handle that item with extra care and consider washing it by hand.
- Material: Glass
- Capacity: 1.6 gallons (6.5 quarts)
- Diameter: 10.25 inches in diameter
- Features: 8 cups and 1 ladle included
- Top rack dishwasher safe
- Glass can be more fragile than other materials
4. Best Stainless Steel: Elegance Stainless Steel Doublewall Punch Bowl
If you’re looking for a hard-to-break alternative to plastic, a stainless steel punch bowl like this one fits the ticket. The 12-quart capacity is large enough for big parties, and it has a double-wall design that makes it particularly good for keeping drinks cold during hot days. You can also use this bowl as an ice bucket for bottles.
The hammered metal finish looks modern and chic but is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. At around 8 pounds, the bowl is relatively lightweight so that it’s easy to carry, but heavy enough that it won’t move if the table is jostled.
- Material: Stainless steel
- Capacity: 3 gallons (12 quarts)
- Diameter: 17 inches
- Features: None (only includes bowl)
- Durable stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe
- Helps keep beverages cold
- Drinks and garnishes are harder to see
What Others Are Saying
Other Punch Bowls We Researched
If you’re looking for a serving option that will bring a different vibe to the party, here are some additional styles we researched that didn’t make our top picks but are also worth checking out.
A Modern Option: The Viski Footed Glass Punch Bowl
For a glass option with a more sleek, modern look, this 2.5-gallon punch bowl is a solid choice. It’s made by Viski, the same company as our top pick, but this angled, footed bowl doesn’t include glasses (although sets of 2 glasses can be purchased separately). The Viski Footed Glass Punch Bowl is available for $57.99 at Target or $47.99 at Amazon.
A Christmas Option: Spode Christmas Tree 10 Piece Punch Bowl Serving Set
If Christmas punch is an annual tradition in your family, then you might want to serve it in this Christmas tree-themed set. Made from porcelain, the punch bowl is accompanied by a matching ladle and eight small mugs and is microwave and dishwasher-safe. That said, it’s not as versatile as other options and customer reviews are limited. The Spode Christmas Tree 10-Piece Punch Bowl Serving Set is available for $149.99 on Amazon and at Target.
A Budget Option: Room Essentials Large Plastic Serving Bowl
This plastic serving bowl is the cheapest one we found and it works great for punch. It is basic in every way, but it still earns 4.7 out of 5 stars from reviewers. At such a good value, this is a great option if you want to set out several different bowls with various drink options. The Room Essentials Large Plastic Serving Bowl is available for $10 at Target.
A Colorful Option: The Wine Savant Colorful Punch Bowl Set
This colorful punch bowl set offers a moderately-priced, unique glass option. However, at 1.7 gallons, it is a bit on the smaller side and only includes four glasses, and additional glasses aren’t sold separately. The Wine Savant Colorful Punch Bowl set is available for $74.99 at Amazon.
Why You Can Trust Us
Sommer is a professional food writer, food stylist, and recipe developer. She loves to travel and help home cooks learn how to make global fare. Sommer has perfected a number of her own punch recipes for A Spicy Perspective, including watermelon punch or Bahamian blaster punch.
Margaret is a journalist who wants to help readers find the best products in order to avoid wasting time and money. She has written about food and drinks for a wide range of publications, including Civil Eats and Tales of the Cocktail.
To make this list of the best punch bowls, we took into account user and tester reviews, our own professional experience, and extensive market research, and factored in size, material, and price to determine the overall value.
What to Know About Punch Bowls
What to Consider Before Buying a Punch Bowl
Here are some of the key features you’ll want to think about when shopping for a punch bowl:
The most important feature of a punch bowl is its size. It should be big enough to hold many servings of your drink of choice, so look for one that has a capacity of at least 2 quarts (half a gallon). The bowl should also have a nice deep shape so that it doesn’t spill easily when you carry it or when you dip the ladle into it.
If you’re planning on using your punch bowl for formal events or fancy parties, you probably want one that’s made from glass or even crystal. However, there are some acrylic options that might fool you, so if you’re concerned about something breaking, then plastic or metal is a better choice, particularly for rowdy outdoor parties or events.
When it comes to the ladle, you don’t have to find one that matches, but it can be a nice touch. In our research, we found that glass ladles are particularly fragile and can be prone to breaking, so regardless of the material of the bowl, you may want a metal or plastic ladle for serving up drinks.
You can find a range of sets that include a punch bowl and matching glasses, which can be an elegant option but are not a must-have. If you’re on a budget, your everyday glassware will work just fine for a party.
When shopping for sets, consider looking for options that also sell the same cups or mugs separately, so you can have extra for more guests or if any break. Sommer recommends getting 12 to 16 matching cups.
There’s a whole host of themed punch bowls on the market, from Christmassy to super summery. These can be great if you want your punch bowl to help reinforce a party’s theme, especially if it’s an annual event that you look forward to throwing every year and you can afford it. However, a more versatile or neutral design may be more useful and a better value, particularly when you consider that a punch bowl can also be used to serve all kinds of things or even be integrated into your home’s decor.
For a truly vintage option, you might consider looking for a secondhand punch bowl at your local antique shop or thrift store—although it may be more challenging to find a complete set with matching cups this way.
How to Clean a Punch Bowl
In most cases, it’s best to wash your punch bowl by hand, although you can check with the manufacturer to see if an item is dishwasher safe. Use your regular dish soap and a soft sponge or brush to scrub, and rinse with warm water. Avoid any rough scrubbers or cleansers that could run the risk of scratching the bowl. Even if it is safe to put the punch bowl in the dishwasher, large items like this take up too much space, so it’s often more practical to wash them in the sink.
Do you Need a Punch Bowl?
Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you don’t necessarily need a punch bowl. For example, if you’re hosting a summer get-together, you could offer up a 5-Ingredient Watermelon Rum Punch served right from the melon. When it’s chilly out, you can serve Hot Apple Cider Wassail directly from the stove or slow cooker. A large pitcher is also a nice option that lets guests serve themselves drinks at a party.
However, if you entertain a lot or have a large family, a punch bowl can be a handy item to keep in your arsenal of serving dishes. They can also be useful for serving other dishes or snacks, from salads to chips. Punch bowls can also make nice wedding presents and housewarming gifts.
What Types of Punch Are There?
There’s no limit to the number of punches that could be dreamed up. Usually, hosts like to serve a punch that highlights or adds to the vibe of the event. For example, you could consider a Holiday Wine Punch for winter festivities or Bahamian Blaster Party Punch for a summer pool party. Non-alcoholic punches are also great for sober friends and kids, like the Preggy Punch Mocktail which is perfect for baby showers.
The Best Punch Recipes and Other Cocktails
Once you’ve picked out the best punch bowl for you, A Spicy Perspective has lots of recipe inspiration for how to put it to work! Here are some of our most popular punch recipes: