This punch recipe walks the delicate line between the G-rated fun for the whole family and boozy knock-your-socks-off party fun punch.The recipe is balanced: maybe a little sophisticated for a punch, but nothing that the whole family won’t enjoy if made without the alcohol. Just remember that you really can’t go wrong here as long as you keep taste-testing along the way. A little less fruit or a little more bubbles won’t hurt anything.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 10-12 cupsServings
- 4 cups Not-Quite-So-Simple Syrup
- 6-8 cups seltzer (can be plain, lime, cranberry or orange flavored)
- 1 cup bourbon (optional)
- Fresh lime juice to taste
- 2 cans mandarin orange segments, with the juice
- 2 cans jellied cranberries
- 4 cloves (whole)
- 2 oranges (for juice and for peels)
- 2 cups water or orange juice (or a mixture of both)
1. In a large punch bowl, combine the chilled Not-Quite-So-Simple Syrup with the seltzer, gently stirring to mix.
2. If you want to spike the punch, add the bourbon at this point.
3. Add some fresh lime juice to “brighten” up the taste, if desired, and then add the mandarin orange segments with the juice. The oranges function as garnish and their syrup adds an extra element of sweetness to balance the tart cranberries.
4. Add ice and serve immediately.
1. Put cranberries, cloves, orange peels and the 2 cups liquid in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Combine and bring to a gentle boil, stirring until the jellied cranberries fall apart and all the sugar in them dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Remove cloves and orange peels. (It’s easy enough to make this part in advance; just pour into a glass container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to make the punch, up to about a week.) The syrup will be thick and tart but don’t worry—the other punch ingredients will off- set the viscosity and the bite.
4. Makes 4 cups. Use any remaining syrup in a vinaigrette, as a sauce over poultry, or on top of ice cream or pound cake!