Move aside eggnog. Apart from it being a tad too hot in this hemisphere to guzzle milk-and-egg-based beverages all Christmas long, punch has been the ultimate crowd-pleaser since the dawn of parties (read: sometime in the seventeenth century when punch was introduced to the western world from India).
It might seem like the kind of retro relic that shares its heyday with the likes of lime green kitchens and pleather lounges, but punch can be so much more than fruit salad drowning in juice and lemonade. It’s the chameleon of the cocktail world; adapting almost unnoticeably to its time and place. For example, did you know sangria is a type of punch? No-one would ever accuse sangria of being daggy! If it’s delicious and served from a communal bowl, you can go right ahead and call it punch. Mulled wine? Punch! Mimosa? Breakfast punch!
If you still don’t believe us, here’s a few of the most scrumptious punch recipes from around the web that we think will make your Christmas just that little bit merrier. Bottoms up!
The Australian Christmas meal is basically the northern hemisphere Christmas meal… only everything is served cold. Cold cut ham and turkey, seafood and plenty of crisp salads. Elements of a traditional roast are there, and the same is true of this swill-able spiced wine punch by Valli Little for delicious. Cinnamon, star anise, orange and a fruity red wine – yep it’s Christmas in a cup – ice cold! Find the full recipe here.
Tip: Keep kitschy punch bowls behind closed (cupboard) doors and serve from a decorative salad bowl with modern stemware instead.
Punch is all about experimenting and making the flavours all your own. And with the bounty of fruits available at the moment, there’s no shortage of inspiration for your own signature tipple. Think pineapples, melons, mangoes, cherries, peaches, plums and gorgeous summer berries. Check out Jamie Oliver’s punchy opinions here. The man knows his stuff, and what’s more, his is a family-friendly non-alcoholic version.
Tip: Keep your punch cold without diluting the flavours by floating frozen bricks of juice in the bowl to slowly melt. Use 1L tetra packs of juice so you can easily cut away the packaging.
Why fix what isn’t broken? In this classic punch recipe, pineapple, passionfruit and the coconut flavours of white rum mingle to create, well, a tropical paradise… in your mouth! Switch out the fruits if you like and use ginger beer instead of lemonade for a zesty change of pace. Check out the recipe by Emma Braz from Super Food Ideas here.
What are your favourite punch recipes?