Photography by Edward Pond Image by: Pomegranate Punch <br />Photography by Edward Pond
These fun and fruity punches - many of which can be made ahead - means no more stressing over the drinks list, and more time giving mom a party she'll remember.
To help you with planning, we asked our Test Kitchen experts for tips on fun punch bowl decor, and advice on how to best serve punch at your party.
Quick tips to make your shower punch pretty
"One of my favourite tricks is to make ice cubes out of one of the juices I’m using in the punch," Food Director Annabelle Waugh shares. "Then when they melt, the punch doesn’t become diluted. You can also add a fresh berry, a small chunk of melon or a mint leaf to each well of the ice cube tray before adding the liquid and freezing. This has a really pretty effect and makes for a little surprise in each cube."
How to keep the punch table tidy
Worried about spills and messy cleanups? Senior Test Kitchen Specialist Adell Shneer dishes her top tips on serving drinks at your baby shower.
"Keep the punch table tidy by keeping punch cups or glasses on a tray," she says, "to ensure drips end up on the tray and not all over the table cloth, table or floor. Use a ladle or a cup with a spout to limit drips (as well)."
Doubling (or tripling) recipe portions
To scale a punch recipe for a crowd, Adell adds, "scale a punch up or down by using the same ratios as in the original recipe. For example: 1 part vodka to two parts juice, two parts sparkling water or soda. Always taste and adjust if necessary for sweetness or strength. Where the alcohol is concerned, add it gradually, and taste until desired strength is reached."
Lastly, "add carbonated ingredients (to the punch) just before serving," she says, "so they keep their fizz!"
Here are some of our favourite perfect-for-party punches:
Kids might like to top off their glasses with bubbly ginger ale or soda water. Adults can enjoy a shot of brandy or vodka mixed in.
Ginger Rhubarb Punch
Pretty, pink and slightly spicy, this lovely nonalcoholic punch is perfect for showers and other events.
Purple Planetary Punch
Slightly fizzy and not too sweet, this homemade grape soda will have kids asking for more.
Bridal Fruit Punch
Garnish the punch bowl with ice cubes and sprigs of fresh mint; for a fancier touch, use a ring mould to make a fruited ice ring.
Page 1 of 2 - Find more great recipes for punch on page 2.
Punch recipes perfect for your baby shower:
Caribbean Rum Punch
This recipe is based on the classic formula of 1 part sour, 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong and 4 parts weak. Lime juice and rum stand in for the sour and strong; the sweet and weak are left to your taste.
Lime Blaster Punch
Celebrate good times with the citrusy fizz of lemon-lime pop and refreshing sherbeta. It's also a great make-ahead punch!
Sparkling Tangerine Punch
Mint and tangerines make this pleasingly refreshing. You'll find tangerine juice in the refrigerated section of the supermarket.
Mulled Cranberry Punch
Let this ruby red nonalcoholic beverage heat up the cool weather. Keep it warm in a slow cooker or pack it into a vacuum bottle for autumn walks.
Tropical Tutti-Frutti Punch
This refreshing fruit-and-cream concoction makes a great centrepiece. Although coconut allergies are very rare, make sure your guests know that the punch contains coconut milk.
Pure juices (not blends) give this punch the best flavour. If using Pom Wonderful brand pomegranate juice in 473 mL bottles, top with water to make 2 cups (500 mL) even.
A festive nonalcoholic punch made with cranberry cocktail, orange and lime juice.
Save the tips of the mint stems to sprinkle onto the punch as garnish.
Strawberry Rum Punch
Fruity and smooth, this drink makes a pretty-in-pink glass. You could also use white or amber rum instead. For a delicious nonalcoholic Strawberry Punch, replace the rum with water.
Page 2 of 2 - Pull the punch bowl out of the cupboard! Our Test Kitchen experts share their top tips to entertaining with punch on page 1.