Serving punch at a party is very economical and a great alternative to having to man a bar. By serving a punch, you eliminate the need for a variety of expensive liquors like rum, vodka, gin, scotch, tequila and mixers like soda water, various juices, sodas and more. By stocking a bar you need to cater to all your guests taste. With a punch you usually have only one type of liquor and a few mixer ingredients, lowering your investment by a lot. If you make sangria you reduce your cost even more.
Here you’ll find two punches with alcohol and another without. The one without would be perfect to serve at a child’s party or baby shower as well as a non-alcoholic alternative for the designated drivers at your party.
I’ll start with the non-alcoholic punch. This is a recipe my mom used to serve at my birthday parties as a kid. I love it to this day. If you want to spike it my suggestion would be to use rum. Rum and pineapple are a natural. 1 cup would be a good place to start and then add more to taste. Not too much, though, you don’t want the rum to overpower the punch. If serving immediately, make sure all the ingredients are chilled so punch is nice and cold, ready to drink. You could always make it ahead and chill then add soda before serving.
Mom’s Pineapple Party Punch
1 (46 ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
¾ cup sugar
7 cups ginger ale, chilled
In a large punch bowl combine pineapple juice, cranberry juice cocktail, lemonade and sugar. Stir gently until sugar is dissolved. Just before serving, pour in ginger ale. Serve over ice or garnish with an ice ring to keep punch chilled.
This punch makes about 35 – ½ cup servings.
To make an ice ring you need a mold of some kind. I typically use a copper Jell-O mold. Fill with water and freeze. To remove dip mold in hot, not boiling water until you hear some cracking sounds or the ice begins to release from the mold. Immediately place in punch bowl. To make a pretty ice ring, use distilled water and float maraschino cherries in it, freeze and remove as mentioned earlier.
Sunshine punch is a recipe I developed for a girlfriend luncheon I hosted a few years ago. I call it sunshine punch because it uses Florida’s favorite citrus – orange juice. It would also be great served at a breakfast or brunch. It’s such a lovely color too.
3 cups pineapple juice
2 cups mango nectar
2 cups orange juice
2 cups light rum
½. Add ice cubes and orange slices to punch bowl and serve immediately.
Makes 12 servings.
Spirited cranberry punch is another recipe from my Mom. She loved to entertain and when she downsized she passed along all her recipes to me! How lucky am I?! Again, chill the ingredients before mixing so you can serve immediately. Freeze some fresh cranberries and add to punch bowl to help keep it cool.
Spirited Cranberry Punch
2 bottles (48 ounces each) cranberry juice cocktail
1 bottle (48 ounce) cran-raspberry juice
4 cups ginger ale
2 ½ cups sparking white grape juice
1 ½ cups vodka
Orange, lemon and lime slices, for garinsh
Whole, frozen cranberries for garnish
In a large punch bowl, mix all ingredients except garnishes. Add garnishes just before serving.
Makes 26 (1/2 cup) servings.
In addition to serving punch you may want to include wine or beer for those who aren’t fond of punch. There are many situations to serve punch; a baby or bridal shower, bridesmaid luncheon, Mother’s Day brunch, and more. There is no doubt a punch is less expensive to serve than stocking a bar for a party.