Starstruck Sparkling Holiday Punch

Composing individual craft cocktails when hosting a party can knock a host under the table, stone-cold sober, I might add – forget having time to sip your own. As soon as you’ve finished passing round one, guests are lined up – empty glass in hand – for round two.

Loved using the star-shaped bundt pan I found at Home Goods.

Loved using the star-shaped bundt pan I found at Home Goods.

One could hire a bartender, I suppose, but budgets are often strained at this time of the year. Punch bowl to the rescue! I hosted two holiday gatherings last week and served this punch at both parties.

I wanted a punch of flavor, character and distinction, but not one that would insist my guests remain for a slumber party. After a consultation with Lucy, the high-octane calvados I was considering, was nixed in favor of a Lillet aperitif and sparkling ciders. I loved the addition of hard cider, good bitters (avoid those with artificial colorings and a glycerine base) and freshly grated nutmeg in the brew. Save your fine champagnes to accompany caviar; the Trader Joe’s sparkling wine I used was really quite decent.

I assembled this tray of canapés using leftovers in 20 minutes.

I assembled this tray of canapés using leftovers in 20 minutes.

Last night I served a platter of canapés (roast beef and cheese spread leftovers from the previous party…shhhh!) alongside the punch. When making canapés, the base is critical. I’m loving those super thin 34 Degree Crisps for dipping and last minute assembly, but last night they limped a bit after sitting under  blankets of cheesy moisture 30 minutes. My homemade crostini (don’t slice the bread too thick) and dense, thin German breads are ideal palates for pre-assembled canapés.

Prefer a gin punch? You’ll love Lucy’s Holiday Sling. Serving pork? Try her Pig’s Punch, my favorite punch on the block, which you’ll love if you’re a fan of rye’s.

Recipe: Holiday Ice Ring

Ingredients

  • Bundt cake mold that will fit your punch bowl
  • Thin slices of orange
  • Cranberries or pitted cherries, as needed
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Line mold with orange slices. Arrange cranberries and rosemary in pan and fill with water, and adjust arrangements.
  2. Freeze until ready to use. Then, run a bit of water over top to loosen, give a hard knock on the counter, invert, and the ice ring will pop out.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)  May be made several days in advance, tightly covered.

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Starstruck Holiday Punch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Lillet (French wine apertif)
  • 25 ounce bottle sparkling apple cider
  • 22 ounce bottle (apx. 2 1/2 cups) hard apple cider
  • 8 dashes good bitters (I used Peychaud’s)
  • 1 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Combine Lillet, apple ciders and bitters in a large punch bowl (can be made several hours in advance).
  2. Before serving, add champagne and grate fresh nutmeg over top.

Number of servings (yield): 8-10

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

 

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4 Responses to Starstruck Sparkling Holiday Punch

  1. Debbie says:

    That champagne punch was so pretty with the star shaped ice centerpiece and tasted great too.
    However, I checked out Lucy’s Piggy Punch recipe and can’t wait to try it. Where is Stadium Market?

    • Peggy says:

      Hey Debbie! Stadium Market is located in that small triangle of shops (lower Burns Park area) on Packard and Stadium. A&L Wine Castle (on West Stadium across from Zingerman’s Roadhouse) is another really great place to stock your bar, as is Morgan & York on Packard. Bottom’s Up! Peggy

  2. Jeff Renner says:

    “Composing individual craft cocktails when hosting a party can knock a host under the table …”

    Or, as Dorothy Parker memorably wrote,

    I like to have a martini,
    Two at the very most.
    After three I’m under the table,
    After four I’m under my host.

    • Peggy says:

      Fabulous Jeff; a brilliant comment! I forgot those infamous Dorothy Parker lyrics – so true, so true. A pity a well-constructed martini goes down so easy ):

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