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Patch Recipes: Drink It up on Christmas

Eating is fun, but drinking is more fun.

Christmas is almost here. If you're celebrating, hopefully you've bought all your presents by now. You probably already know what you're doing food-wise. But did you figure out what you're going to drink? If not, we've got a couple drink recipes that are perfect for Christmas. Just make sure you're over 21 and have a designated driver.

The following recipes were created by Suzanne Corbett, an award-winning writer/producer, culinary teacher and food historian.

Lemon Drop Champagne Punch

  • 3 lemons, room temperature
  • 1/3  cup sugar
  • 1 bottle champagne, chilled
  • 3/4 cup vodka, chilled
  • 4 ounces candied lemon peels 

With a vegetable peeler, remove zest from each lemon in a long, continuous spiral. Juice lemons, and strain pulp (you should have 3/4 cup juice). Set aside. Heat sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add zest. Let syrup cool completely, about 2 hours.

Pour champagne, vodka, lemon juice, and syrup into a punch bowl; stir. Serve glasses of punch with candied peels.

Cranberry, Tangerine and Pomegranate Punch

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, for swizzle sticks
  • 1 bunch mint, for swizzle sticks
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (about five pomegranates)
  • 3 cups freshly squeezed tangerine juice (about seven tangerines)
  • 5 cups cranberry-juice cocktail
  • 2 bottles champagne

Spear three cranberries alternately with two mint leaves on each wooden skewer. Place skewers on a baking sheet; cover with damp paper towels, and refrigerate up to one hour.

In a large punch bowl, stir together fruit juices. Fill the glasses with ice, and ladle a 1/2 cup punch into each glass; top with champagne. Garnish each glass with a swizzle stick.

Algonquin Punch

  • Peel from 4 lemons (removed in strips with vegetable peeler)
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  • 3 cups Gin
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dark rum
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  • 1 ice block*
  • 2 cups chilled champagne
  • Lemon slices

Place lemon peel strips in large bowl. Add sugar and mash with muddler or wooden spoon to infuse sugar with lemon. Add 1 1/4 cups raspberries and mash to blend. Pour in gin, lemon juice, and rum. Add ice cubes; stir to blend. Refrigerate punch 20 minutes. Place ice block in punch bowl. Strain punch over ice block into bowl. Add champagne; stir to blend. Garnish punch with lemon slices and remaining 3/4 cup raspberries.

*To make the ice block, fill a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with water and freeze it solid. Dip the pan into hot water to release the ice block.

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