Now that the 4th is past, there is still a lot of summer left and some pleasant, gift evenings to gather with friends - not to mention the blazing ones! A refreshing, cold drink could fit the bill for many occasions. Recently, dining al fresco with several others, we wanted to try the delicious sounding punch of the day. But, sadly, they were out of it. This speaks to the new popularity of a storied favorite - the spiked punch. From Benjamin Franklin to Eudora Welty, punches have been enjoyed with good company.
An advantage to serving punch is that you can avoid having to play bartender at your party. Make ahead and let guests help themselves. A pretty punch bowl is a nice touch, but a pitcher will work.
It could be fun to search for a vintage bowl and cups in our flea markets and consignment stores.
This recipe from Southern Living (the bible of our area's good cooks!) was adapted from an Episcopalian cookbook. Lots of citrus.
Whiskey Punch2 liters whiskey or bourbon
1/2 liter dark rum
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 cups strong-brewed tea
3 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice or 4 (7.5-ounce) bottles frozen lemon juice, thawed
2 quarts orange juice
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Stir together all ingredients in a large crock or food-safe container. Cover mixture, and chill up to 3 days before serving.
Note: For strong-brewed tea, pour 5 cups boiling water over 2 family-size tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags from water, squeezing gently. Add 2 cups cold water.
Makes 32 cups.
I found a general formula for making punches:
- Five parts weak: This is your non-alcoholic part – a juice, a soda, a tonic, etc.
- Four parts strong: This is your alcoholic part – whisky! (or rum or vodka)
- Three parts sour: Lime, lemon, etc.
- Two parts sweet: sugar or simple syrup, which is 2 parts sugar, one part water (boiled until the sugar is mixed in, then bottled)
- One part bitter: Actual bitters or they suggest Compari or even tonic water, for aromatics
An ice ring, perhaps made with fruit and even edible flowers and herbs, adds a festive touch. Or just garnish with mints from your garden, farmer's market, or grocery.
Share your favorite recipes with us.
Happy sipping in the 'Sip.