Everybody loves punch. It’s fun, fruity and easy to drink. Best of all, where there’s punch there’s a party. I adapted this recipe from a cocktail my partner and I created back in my beverage catering days. It was always a big hit at events. Just like any well-made punch, it appeals to a variety of tastes. Unique enough to impress your guests, yet simple to prepare in advance, your friends will happily serve themselves a glass . . . or four.
- Combine all the ingredients except the sparkling apple cider and ice block into a pitcher or mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, so that the mixture is very cold. During this time, also refrigerate the bottles of sparkling apple cider.
- When you are ready to serve, place the ice block into your punch bowl, remove the mixture from the fridge and pour over ice. If you have a small punch bowl, you can always keep half of your punch mixture in the fridge to refill throughout the party. Just remember to keep half of the apple cider in reserve as well.
- Top with sparkling apple cider, stir, and add lime wheels for garnish. Your punch is now cold, bubbly, and ready to serve!
- Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat and let cool completely (approximately 30 minutes) before adding strawberries. I like combining the strawberries once the syrup has cooled because you get a bright, fresh strawberry flavor, rather than a cooked, jammy strawberry flavor.
- Use a potato masher to smash them to a pulp. If you don't have a potato masher you can use the bottom of a glass. Then, pour the resulting mixture through a fine mesh strainer, removing the strawberry pulp. What is left is your strawberry syrup.
(images by HonestlyYUM)