Retro Holiday Punch With Pizzazz

It was a punch that was present at most of our childhood holiday gatherings. The Ko House always seemed to have a bottomless crystal punch bowl in which a fancy ice ring floated, keeping things cool from the very start of a long Christmas Day all the way through to the evening. At various times the pack of us kids would travel by and dip the ladle in to grab a few more drops of sugary sustenance, dodging adults and disappearing into the background, or so we hoped. 

This year I brought back the holiday punch, with a couple of twists. It came about out of necessity, as Andy notified me we had an entire box of Orange Dry soda. In the punch of my childhood, ginger ale formed the effervescent fizz, so the Orange Dry seemed a suitable adult substitution. It also blunted the sweetness, which I did my best to avoid (but really, a punch is designed to be sweet, to go down smoothly). 

The tartness was accomplished by a frozen pink lemonade. The current generation isn’t as familiar with frozen concentrate, and I’m not all that different, but for some reason it works in this recipe. I whipped up a batch of the lemonade, and poured a few overflowing cups of it into a bundt pan, sprinkled in a healthy pile of fresh pomegranate seeds and raspberries, then froze it overnight for the fancy ice ring. I also put a bottle of vodka into the freezer (or leave it outside if there’s no room) to cool that down too. 

Right before guests arrived, I mixed the pink lemonade, 6 or 7 cans of Orange Dry, a few cups of vodka and a cup or so of triple sec (it’s a big punch for a big bowl), then scooped some orange sherbet on top of it all. The ice ring, knocked loose with some hot water and careful maneuvering by Suzie, floated in the middle of it all. 

It wasn’t quite the same as the innocent punch of our youth, but it was close. Its spirit was intact. The memories it conjured were warm and fuzzy. That’s the best one can conjure the older we get. 

Back to Blog
Back to Blog