Sunday, February 28, 2010

Party Punch

A classic made from jello, juices, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda, and sherbet, this party punch shows up at just about every event imaginable in the south. Photo Credit: Taste of Home.

Party Punch

Though this is not a southern punch as far as I know, almost every baby shower, wedding shower, wedding reception, reunion, pot luck, church social, "fill-in-the-blank-home-party," or other social event that I attended most of my life, has had a party punch in some variation of this one. Sometimes it's called Bride's Punch, Reception Punch, Wedding Punch, Creamy Punch, Holiday Punch or Sherbet Punch.

Sherbet is optional (but not in my opinion), though it creates a nice creamy layer on the top of the punch that I personally just love. {Think melted marshmallows on top of hot chocolate or a latte with rich, foamed milk floating on the top and you'll know what I mean!}  Pineapple sherbet seems to be used the most, but you can use whatever flavor sherbet you like best.  Ice rings made in a mold, or using a bundt pan, or even just plain ice tray ice cubes, made using some of the punch, are perfect for keeping the punch cold without diluting it, and adds an extra pretty element to the punch bowl. The use of frozen fruit is another optional add-in and can be used either inside of an ice ring, or simply floated in the punch. I like to flash freeze fruit first either way.

I can honestly say that until I ran across the recipe Mama used, I had no idea that there was Jello involved in the making of this punch, but some variations are made using only the juices and either ginger ale or Sprite/7-up, so you could certainly leave it out. I do want to say that Mama mostly used Sprite or 7-up (whichever was on sale likely) rather than ginger ale though, and I'm pretty sure she usually used pineapple sherbet in her punch. Sometimes she added an ice ring, sometimes with fruit in it, but always admired.

I know one other thing - as many variations of this punch that I have tried, and I've tried a lot of them - I don't think I've had one that I didn't like. Make it your own way - it's just good stuff!

This makes a large party punch - probably around 120 small, punch cup servings - so you'll need a very large pot or other large container to blend everything in, and then smaller containers to transfer the punch into for chilling in the refrigerator. Well washed, leftover milk jugs or orange juice cartons work well. I haven't gotten around to preparing this punch so I've borrowed a picture from Taste of Home to be representative until I do. You can find their recipe Photo Credit: here.

Recipe: Party Punch

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 120 punch cup servings

Ingredients
  • 6 (3 ounce) packages of Jello gelatin (strawberry, lemon, lime, raspberry, etc.)
  • 6 cups of boiling water
  • 4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 3 large cans of frozen orange juice
  • 3 large cans of frozen lemonade
  • 3 large cans of pineapple juice
  • 3 large bottles of ginger ale, or liters of 7-up or Sprite or any combination of them
  • 4 quarts of pineapple or other sherbet, optional
  • Fresh fruit, flash frozen individually, optional (see note in recipe)
Instructions

In a very large pot or other container, dissolve the Jello in the boiling water; add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, then add the cold water. Mix the orange juice according to the package directions and pour into the Jello mixture; stir. Repeat with the lemonade. DO NOT add the ginger ale or 7-up/Sprite at this stage!! That will be added just before serving. Stir to blend well and transfer into individual storage containers to chill. Well washed, leftover milk jugs or orange juice cartons work well for this. Chill for at least 24 hours.

If making an ice ring or ice cubes, pour some of the mixed Jello and juice into the trays or ice ring mold. If desired, add in some of the freshly flash-frozen fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. (To flash freeze the fruit, simply clean and rinse the fruit and spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer.) To freeze fruit inside a mold and have the fruit right at the top, freeze the mold in stages. Add just enough liquid to barely cover the fruit to your mold. Carefully place the fruit where you want it and transfer to the freezer. Freeze until set, then top with more of the juice. Freeze for at least 24 hours total time.

To assemble the punch, run a bit of warm water over the bottom of the ice mold to unseat it. You'll see when it releases. Invert the ring over the bottom of the punch bowl to carefully pop it out. How many punch bowls you'll get out of this will depend on how large the punch bowl is. Fill the punch bowl about 1/2 full with the juice mixture, see what you have left of it, and you'll know how many bowls you'll get out of the batch. Then, add in the appropriate amount of ginger ale/Sprite/7-up and spoon in enough sherbet until top is covered. Replenish in that order - juice, ginger ale/Sprite and sherbet - as needed.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Photo Credit: Taste of Home.
Posted by on February 28, 2010

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