Entertaining: Throw a Punch Bowl Party
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Inviting people into your home is both rewarding (who throws a better party than you?) and sometimes stressful, but with the right libation lineup everything will undoubtedly work itself out. Here’s our plan for sensational DIY sippers that guests can serve themselves with minimal fuss.
What You'll Need:
A few pitchers and a punch bowl: Mismatched is antique chic and fun, especially if you offer guests a few different libations to choose from. And punch bowls are in fashion again, so if you’ve had one boxed up, dust it off and use it!
Fresh fruits and herbs: Succulent strawberries and fragrant mint make a world of difference to a cocktail. Your drinks will taste better and be prettier to look at.
Quality spirits and appropriate wines: You don’t need to crack open that vintage Dom Perignon for a spritz. A good quality Spanish cava or Italian Prosecco is smart host’s choice. Ditto for red, white and rosé wines: there are lovely French and South American wines for under $20 a bottle. However, don’t bottom shelf your spirits. Choose a premium brand, especially when it comes to liqueurs, to avoid unnecessary additives and artificial sweetness.
Ice that tastes good: Quite simple, really. If you drink from a Brita or a bottle of Evian, chances are you don’t care for the taste of tap water. So why make ice cubes from it? Buy distilled jugs of water and fashion your own block ice by freezing the water in loaf, cake or bundt pans. A block of ice in a punch bowl not only chills the liquid longer without diluting, it looks cool.
Everyone loves a sangria, and this Spanish staple beautifully showcases fruits when served in clear wine or rocks glasses. Adding the liqueurs is a must for layered flavoring; don’t just throw a bunch of grapes in a Chardonnay. Serving a few different sangrias is a fun way to please both red and white drinkers. For a “wow” affect, batch up a cocktail as a punch, like the classic Negroni or Italian Aperol Spritz. Punches are sophisticated, meant for sharing and, when done correctly, perfect for parties.
1 bottle of dry red wine
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup premium orange liqueur, like Cointreau
2 tbsp. sugar
2 cups sliced oranges, apples, grapes
1 cup club soda
Mix together wine, liquor and sugar until dissolved in a large pitcher with a wooden spoon. Add fresh fruit. Top with club soda and stir gently. Pour over ice in glasses. Orange twist for garnish.
1 bottle of dry white wine
¼ cup white rum, like Bacardi
¼ cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups sliced peaches, kiwis, lemons
1 cup club soda
Mix together wine, liquor and sugar until dissolved in a large pitcher with a wooden spoon. Add fresh fruit. Top with club soda and stir gently. Pour over ice in glasses. Lemon twist for garnish.