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Thursday, September 17, 2009

PUNCH you in the face ! ( it really will )

Punch. I know, I know, you think of spiking it at the school dance ( maybe that was just in movies) or a party at your Grandmas house. Well punch is making a come back ! Im not talking about your old run of the mill punch with pastel colored sherbet (a.k.a sorbet !) Im talking about punch that actually lives up to its name, and honors its fun, festive yet elegant reputation.

Sooo, todays recipe is for the best prosecco punch EVER !!! Just in case you havent been made aware of the joy that is prosecco, let me explain. Prosecco is, in a nutshell, Italys champagne. It is more affordable ( to a fault, if you know what I mean !) and absolutely delicious in its own right. It is not made in the strict traditional process that true champagne is, yet has many of the same qualities. Most grocery and liquor stores now have a decent variety ranging from dry to a bit sweeter and all very reasonably priced. It is great alone, but a perfect base for a light punch as well.

I made this to bring to a party last spring in Arizona ( which may as well be summer since it was HOT HOT HOT !)...It was a hit ! Among other comments I got a lot of " Its so hot out, I didnt want beer and couldnt think of what to drink... this punch is perfect !" , " not too sweet, refreshing, just right!" ... even guys were drinking it, just in a different glass !


1 bottle prosecco

peach flavored vodka( half of a 1 liter bottle, I told you it packs a punch !)

cranberry juice ( enough to make a ring out of and a splash into the punch as well)

one ruby red grapefruit ( cut in half, one half juiced one half sliced into rings)

1 liter bottle sparkling water ( anything from Pellegrino to plain old soda water will work)

This will make enough to fill an average size punch bowl.

The hardest part of this is making the frozen cranberry juice ring, unless of course you have an actual mold which I dont ! The idea here is to keep the punch chilled without watering it down. I simply poured the cranberry juice in a medium sized bowl and then rested a jar of something heavy right in the middle for the "ring" effect, place this in the freezer. Obviously you want to do this in advance.

When the juice ring is ready you are ready ( oh and if you used my method you may have to run just a bit of room temp water over the jar to get it out !) . If you are bringing the punch to a party, make it there, it is much easier and will be more bubbly ! Either way, put the beautiful ring of dark red cranberry juice in the bowl first. Then pop the bubbly and pour it on in, next half of the bottle of peach vodka, the whole bottle of sparkling water, a splash of the cranberry juice, and the juice of the grapefruit. Finish this by floating the grapefruit slices you set aside in the punch, these will add panache, slowly absorb alcohol and most likely end up a treat for someone special ! This punch is great ladled out into glasses alone, and also holds up well over ice.

Cheers !

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