Every year around this time there is much talk of bowl games. Berks County peeps loooove their Philadelphia Eagles, and even though their run at this year’s NFL championship has come to an end, there’s no need to stop discussing bowl games, just yet.
You think we are talking about football? Nope. We are talking about punch bowls! Full of good stuff and ready to party with you! January is the perfect time to blow the dust off Great Aunt Hazel’s punch bowl and fill it with a big batch cocktail recipe so you can enjoy your guests, and yes, if you’re still following football, the big game!
Below are some easy punch bowl cocktails, and as always, we’ve searched out Berks County ingredients and other nearby providers for some of the ingredients.
Ok, here we go, let’s mix it up!!!
For those still in a Philly state of mind, you can cry into this punch bowl of hardcore goodness from the Fish House. This is an old, much-revered recipe with many variations, so feel free to look for another version if this one doesn’t suit your taste.
New Year Rum Punch
2 bottles (750 ml each) dark rum
2¼ cups (525 ml) brandy
1 cup (240 ml) peach brandy - twist it up with some Peach Moonshine from Mainstreet Moonshine in Schuylkill Haven
1¼ cups (300 ml) fresh lime juice
1¼ cups (300 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 cup (240 ml) simple syrup
¼ cup (60 ml) water
1 large ice block, for serving
Lemon and lime slices, for garnish
Pour the rum, both brandies, the citrus juices, the simple syrup, and the water into a large container made of stainless steel or other nonreactive material.
Stir well, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. Place the ice block in the centre of a large punch bowl, then pour in the punch and garnish with the citrus slices. Ladle into punch cups.
Girls’ Night In? Yes please!! Mix up this gorgeous thing, throw on some yoga pants and a facial mask, and settle in for a Bridgette Jones marathon.
12 oz. Lemonade Concentrate
12 oz. Limeade Concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups water
2 ltr bottle of favorite lemon-lime beverage
2 limes - sliced thin
Tequila to taste
1. combine concentrates, powdered sugar and water.
2. pour into freezer bags and freeze for at least 2 hours if using right away, or for many days, depending how far in advance your are planning to serve this great stuff.If you would rather just add ice to the punch, you can skip this step.
3. place frozen punch in a large punch bowl. I let my punch thaw a bit and pour into a large glass jar with spout.
4. add slowly the soda and limes.
5. If you want to spike the punch with a bit of tequila, feel free. smile.
6. serve in salt rimmed punch cups or glasses.....YUM
7. This recipe will serve 20 - 25 people, small servings.
Fans of multi-tasking will love this punch because it delivers a buzz AND a year’s supply of Vitamin C in the same glass!
Red Grapefruit Sparkler
Stir grapefruit juice, white wine, spiced rum, rosemary sprigs and sliced grapefruit in a trifle bowl. Top with ice.
A cup of this tea will caffeinate and inebriate. What’s not to love? Anglophiles especially will enjoy mixing up a batch for their mates.
20 ounces Tanqueray London Dry - stick with the Tanqueray if you want to be very British about it, or drink local with craft gin from Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
10 ounces Earl Grey tea
7 ounces granulated sugar
1 ounces Orange Bitters
1. In a clean jar or pitcher, combine four bags of Earl Grey tea with ten ounces of cold water. Put a lid on it and let it sit in the refrigerator for ten hours. Strain into a large bowl or pitcher.
2. Mix Tanqueray London Dry, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar and bitters in a bowl. Add to tea. Pour over an ice block in a punch bowl and garnish with anise-spiked lemons, and perhaps a sprig of rosemary. Throw in some frozen grapes to take things to the next level.
Mix this up in advance for a fuss free poker night. Your guests can take out their frustrations as they muddle their own fruit, top with some ice and then pour over the punch you’ve premade.
Old Fashioned Cocktails for a Crowd
1 (750ml) bottle bourbon or rye - you can have both with Stoll and Wolfe's Bourbon and Rye Blend
1 ounce (30ml) simple syrup (see note)
10 to 12 dashes Angostura bitters
4 ounces (120ml) water
Using a funnel, add entire contents of bourbon or rye bottle to an empty sealable 1-liter bottle(OR punch bowl!). Add simple syrup, bitters, and water and seal. Shake well to mix and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, fill glasses with ice, if desired. Pour 2 to 3 ounces per glass.
Don’t have a punchbowl of your own? No problem, a pitcher or stock pot will work. Vintage bowls are easily found and purchased for very little at local thrift stores. (I visited the Goodwill store in Shillington this past weekend and quickly counted 8 punch bowls for sale, all priced below $10.00) To keep punch cold, freeze ice in a large block with any random plastic container, bundt pan or jello mold(maybe check the thrift shop while you are picking up your punch bowl). You can even add some of your garnish fixings to the ice mold for an extra festive look!