Saturday, May 29, 2010
It isn't a rooftop party, or jazz in the Sculpture Garden, or Sunday Funday (though now mainly on Saturdays due to the need for an extra recovery day - aging is a bitch!) or any other gathering with friends, without some refreshing champagne punch.
This all started for me with the annual New Year's Day parties at my best friend's parent's house. Every year, to this day, there is a bottomless punch bowl with this amazing concoction. The joke from my friend's dad is that I have my own giant straw that I bring so I can just sit around the corner from the bowl and slurp it all down. Let me tell ya - I would if I could!
There are two versions of this recipe, and it can easily be adapted to meet your own taste......
Version 1 - the original, courtesy MAR:
1 750 ml bottle Champagne
1 2-liter bottle Ginger Ale
2-3 healthy dollops Brandy or Triple Sec
1 package frozen sweetened strawberries
1- 2 oranges
Place frozen strawberries in bottom of punch bowl. Pour Brandy or Triple Sec over them and let sit while preparing other fruit. Slice lemons, limes and orange(s) into thin "wheel-shaped" slices. You may want to cut the orange wheels in half if they are too big. Add citrus to punch bowl. Pour in champagne and ginger ale and give it a light stir to combine. The frozen strawberries will thaw in the punch, both sweetening it and helping to keep it cold. Best if it sits for a ½ hour or so to let flavors blend, but really, who can wait that long?!
Version 2 - my adaptation, a little "healthier"
1 - 1.5 bottles Champagne
1 1-liter bottle Clear Splash* Kiwi-Strawberry flavor
2 - 3 kiwis, peeled and cut in half-moon slices
1/2 - 1 cup pomegranate seeds
Combine all ingredients in punch bowl or pitcher and serve!
Over the years I have made several variations of this recipe. There are lots of flavors of Clear Splash out there, and occasionally I have gone the ginger ale route myself. Very often, I use frozen strawberries (unsweetened) as well as other frozen fruit - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, etc. Its all delicious....just mix and match to find your favorite combo!
* Clear Splash is Giant Supermarket's brand of calorie-free/caffeine-free sodas....basically like Sprite Zero, but in a multitude of flavors. Other groceries stores have their own brands.