Christmas Punch? Bubbles on the Side? What to do? Help!

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2019, 12:52 PM
Boomer Boomer is offline
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Default Christmas Punch? Bubbles on the Side? What to do? Help!

I want to serve Christmas punch to our gathering on Christmas Eve. Not only does it look pretty, but it is nice and easy to have with appetizers as we wait for dinner because it saves a lot of time with getting drinks for a relatively large group. Make it look pretty, set it up, and guests can serve themselves.

I have read every punch recipe I can find but they all seem way too sweet and/or have at least one and maybe even 3 alcohols.

We will have some who drink alcohol and some who do not. I like a little sparkle in the punch -- which I know can be done by adding some kind of pop. (Yes, I am from Ohio and that is what we call the stuff.) But I do not want to add pop directly because not only could it make the punch too sweet, but after a while, it goes flat.

Here is what I have been thinking:

Make pretty pitchers full of cranberry juice (the 100% juice kind, but not the really tart kind.) and maybe some orange juice. Add some orange slices and fresh cranberries. I could then put bottles of bubbles on the side so guests could either make a mimosa-like concoction for themselves or have their bubbles straight, or just have the basic stuff in the pitchers.

If I do it this way, I would probably have sides of cold ginger ale and a cava or some other kind of sparkle, and I am thinking of vinho verde. (Yes. I know. I might have just horrified someone who thinks this Portuguese fizzy wine with the screw top, and at a very reasonable price, is just for summer. I do not pretend to know anything about wine, but what I do know is that my book club loves the light and fizzy vinho verde and I bet some of my guests will, too. I do. And with that screw top, I can always swill down leftovers later.

So how an I doing? Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to navigate the booze/no-booze Christmas punch quandary. Does the cranberry juice - orange juice base make sense? Help! (I am not Martha Stewart and need all the help I can get.)

Last edited by Boomer; 12-19-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-19-2019, 01:03 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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Personally, I don't think very many people like punch at all, especially with alcohol. I would set out bottles of wine, beer, soft drinks, glasses, and ice. Maybe some punch in a pitcher, or Sangria wine.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
Personally, I don't think very many people like punch at all, especially with alcohol. I would set out bottles of wine, beer, soft drinks, glasses, and ice. Maybe some punch in a pitcher, or Sangria wine.

Hi rg123,

I do luvs me some sangria and am known for making a pretty darned good one, which I often make in the summer. I use a very generous splash (actually a glug) of Grand Marnier to soak the fruit for a while first. Grand Marnier is the secret ingredient for sangria ala Boomer. Damn that stuff smells good. Sometimes, I dab a little behind my ears.
  #4  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:14 PM
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There is a drink called a poinsettia. It is half cranberry juice and half champagne with a small amount of triple sec. Mix it in a pitcher and everyone can serve themselves.
  #5  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
Personally, I don't think very many people like punch at all, especially with alcohol. I would set out bottles of wine, beer, soft drinks, glasses, and ice. Maybe some punch in a pitcher, or Sangria wine.
I agree with this, Boomer. Punch seems to be too blah for people these days. Wine and beer would be more popular, with maybe one pitcher of sangria.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:52 AM
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Thanks. You are right about the beer. The beer will be here along with some bottles of wine with bubbles.

The punch has to be without alcohol because there will be a few guests who do not drink alcohol.

I am not going to use a punch bowl. I have a clear glass pitcher from Crate and Barrel, and if I get really ambitious, I will use an oversized ice cube tray to make some pretty ice cubes with cranberries and maybe rosemary sprigs inside. (I better remember to buy some distilled water though to make sure the cubes are clear.)

I could not figure out what non-alcohol thing I could put in with the cranberry juice (the 100% juice kind — not the cocktail and not the straight up pure cranberry juice either — one too sweet, one too tart.) But I just got a suggestion of not using orange juice, but using orange Pellegrino instead. (I did not know what Pellegrino is but now I do. I will find some and experiment.) Maybe I will put Pellegrino in with the cranberry juice and have individual servings on the side, along with the beer and bubbly wines. Choices.

The punch’s main job probably will be to sit there and look pretty on the appetizer table so I will not make a 55-gallon drum of it. I will just have the ingredients ready in backup in case it goes.

(And I better go find my spray bottle of Wine Away to make sure it is on standby. I have used that stuff to take red wine stains out and it was miraculous. I am assuming if there are any cranberry-based spills, it can work on those — I hope.)
  #7  
Old 12-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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I usually have a Bloody Mary set up with anything you can think of. Also a mimosa set up. I have a small punch bowl that I will have to look up recipe. It not only is a beautiful color, but it’s the first item to be empty. If you Pinterest there are hundreds of ideas.
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:39 PM
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Go on the ABC Liquor website......lots of drink and punch recipes.
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
Personally, I don't think very many people like punch at all, especially with alcohol. I would set out bottles of wine, beer, soft drinks, glasses, and ice. Maybe some punch in a pitcher, or Sangria wine.
Agree. I was just at a party where they had 2 different kinds of punch which were avoided like the plague. I hate to say it but to some, it looks outdated and even cheap.

I like wine, beer, soft drinks, some bottled water, and even a signature cocktail—a pitcher of cosmos, margaritas, for example.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:41 AM
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Hey, thanks for the suggestions for me as I paraded my punch angst across the screen.

I finally had an AHA! moment and went to Crate and Barrel and bought a big party tub so we can put the festive, bubbly wines and the beer and the non-alcohol drinks all in ice together and everybody can take care of themselves.

No more trying to figure out how to make pretty ice cubes with cranberries and rosemary sprigs inside — must be awfully difficult and time consuming to try to shove those things into ice cubes.
  #11  
Old 12-23-2019, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
Hey, thanks for the suggestions for me as I paraded my punch angst across the screen.

I finally had an AHA! moment and went to Crate and Barrel and bought a big party tub so we can put the festive, bubbly wines and the beer and the non-alcohol drinks all in ice together and everybody can take care of themselves.

No more trying to figure out how to make pretty ice cubes with cranberries and rosemary sprigs inside — must be awfully difficult and time consuming to try to shove those things into ice cubes.
Pretty ice cubes take a minute. Water in tray. Add what ever heart desires. Freeze.
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2019, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
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Pretty ice cubes take a minute. Water in tray. Add what ever heart desires. Freeze.
Yes, but then we would miss out on Boomer's humor.
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