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Party Punches

Party punches are as varied as those who drink them, from sangria to wassail. Punch is said to originate from an ancient East Indian recipe meaning “five ingredients.” Several of those ingredients are still found in most recipes today. Many celebrations call for a beautiful punch bowl with fruit or flower petals floating on top. Here are a few new and traditional recipes to add to your collection.

2 lbs. rhubarb, chopped
4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup club soda

Bring rhubarb and 4 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until rhubarb is very tender. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place over large bowl. Strain rhubarb several hours and finish by mashing all juice through the cheesecloth. Discard the pulp. Stir sugar and orange and lemon juices into rhubarb juice and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into pitcher and refrigerate. Before serving, add club soda. Serves 6.

2 (46.-oz) bottles cran-raspberry juice
32 oz. pina colada mix
2 liters raspberry ginger ale
12 oz. frozen or fresh raspberries

Mix cran-raspberry and pina colada mix in large freezer-proof container. Freeze overnight or up to three weeks. Remove from freezer half an hour before serving. Place frozen mixture in large punch bowl and add ginger ale and raspberries. Serves 20.

4 cups brewed, chilled tea
4 cups apple juice, chilled
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
2 bottles club soda
Orange and lemon slices
Fresh mint

Combine tea, apple, and pineapple juices and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add club soda, fruit slices, and mint immediately before serving. Serve over ice. Makes 35 4-oz. servings.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Bunch of fresh mint
1 cup orange juice
1-1/2 gallons Sprite

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Place whole mint in a cheesecloth and pour above mixture over mint. Add orange juice and lemon to above mixture. Let steep in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. The longer this steeps, the stronger the mint flavor becomes. Remove cheesecloth from mix and add soda just before serving. Pour over ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 2 gallons.

2 small apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
6 whole cloves
1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 small orange
1-1/2 gallons good quality apple cider

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer about 15 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick and serve warm. Serves 12-16.

1 quart pineapple juice, chilled
1 quart orange juice, chilled
1-1/2 quarts cranberry cocktail juice, chilled
2 liters ginger ale, chilled
2 star fruit, cut into 1/4-inch stars
2 kiwis, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 cup maraschino cherries with stems

In a large punch bowl combine juices and ginger ale. Arrange star fruit, kiwi slices, and cherries on top. Serve chilled. Serves 20.

My daughter is planning a wedding that will take place during the holidays. We tried this one out recently and found it to be one of our favorites. Kids will also love the crushed peppermint candy and the fresh, cool taste of this one.

1 qt. peppermint ice cream
1 jar strawberry preserves
2 liters of Sprite, chilled
1/2 cup finely crushed peppermint candy (must be ground very fine in a food processor)
4 to 6 candy canes to float on top or hang from sides of punch bowl

Place ice cream in punch bowl and let soften. Swirl preserves through the ice cream. Just before serving, add chilled Sprite. Sprinkle crushed candy on top of punch and float candy canes on top. Serves 24.

Coming Next Month: Betty’s, Buckles, Crumbles, and Crisps

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