A collection of recipes for the perfect party sipper.
March 09, 2015
1 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
Punch It Up
Punch takes the title as the ultimate beverage for home gatherings. Essentially a few rounds of cocktails made in advance, punch prevents an unsightly clutter of bottles and mixers and eliminates the need for anyone—host or guest—to spend precious party time mixing up drinks. Above all, punch is delicious hospitality in a bowl.
With a little prep and basic measurement, anyone can create an original punch—no professional mixology skills required. Concocting your own is simply a matter of keeping all components in balance. As always, taste before serving so you can tweak as necessary.
First up is our Spring Gin Punch, a citrusy, herb-infused punch that is bright, flavorful, and refreshing.
If the word "punch" makes you think of old-fashioned, too-sweet concoctions, this drink will be a revelation. Don't skip the oleo saccharum stage: The mix of oils and other citrus flavors that come from the muddling gives amazing body to the final drink.
This punch is based on the classic formula of the great recipes of the 17th and 18th centuries, most of which started with sugar soaked in lemon or orange oil. Here, clementines are used instead, and all the spirits come from Spain. Spanish brandy is less well-known in the U.S. than cognac, but it is delicious and a great bargain, and the same could be said for cava, Spain's answer to Champagne.
Loosely based on a Korean watermelon and ginger beverage, this refreshingly sweet drink will maximize lycopene if you allow the whole fruit to ripen at room temperature instead of putting it in the fridge right after purchase. You can chill the punch (and any leftover melon) for up to two days without significantly reducing the amount of antioxidant in the fruit.
It’s hard to beat the relaxing Caribbean flavors of this fruity rum punch. “I made this punch for a Girls' Night party. It was a big hit,” raves Theresa. “I couldn’t refill the punch bowl fast enough!”
A combination of sweet guava nectar, cool fruit juices, and rum create an island cocktail that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Annjones389 says, “It tastes exactly like what you would expect to get on a tropical vacation. You can substitute passion fruit or another tropical juice if you can't find guava nectar, and it is just as good!”
This cocktail kicks up staid mulled wine to a whole new level. Cranberry-pineapple juice is steeped with spices and combined with complex dark rum and spicy, sparkling ginger beer for a fizzy, peppery, and altogether refreshing experience.
Adults should eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit each day, according to the FDA. Each 8-ounce glass of this easy-to-make drink takes care of about half of that, in a most delicious manner. Add some rum to the mix for an excellent outdoor party sipper.
If you don't have cheesecloth, remove tea leaves from an ordinary tea bag, fill the empty bag with cloves and ginger, and tie it securely with the tea bag string: let the cinnamon sticks float separately while simmering. Serve in decorative punch bowl alongside a small pitcher of rum marked with a label or card. You may want to have an extra sachet and more of the cider mixture handy in case you have thirsty guests.