I make a big Hanukkah party every year. And since the focus of the evening is my potato latkes, I try to make the rest of the food and drink as easy and streamlined as possible (for those of you unfamiliar with latkes, they are both labor AND time intensive – but soooooooo worth it!).
We usually get a big crowd so the punch needs to be served in a large bowl and kept ice cold. I like to make a pretty ice ring for just this purpose and it is so easy to do.
Start with a tube or bundt pan – the sides can be straight or fluted; just make sure that it is the proper fit for your punch bowl. Fill it one-third with water and freeze (make sure it is sitting on a level surface in your freezer). When frozen, layer your ingredients on top. I like to use fruits and herbs that complement the flavors in the punch.
Pour enough water over your ingredients to cover by 1-2″ (to keep them from floating to the top) and freeze again. Finally, fill the pan almost to the top and freeze once more (this can be done overnight). When ready to use, turn the pan upside down and hold under warm running water till the ring releases.
There you have it! I’ve included the recipe for the Pomegranate-Champagne punch I served, and would love to see some of your favorite party beverages (and serving tips!).
Happy Friday and Happy New Year!
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adapted from Bon Appetit
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar (100 g.)
(2) 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne
1 1/2 c. white rum
2 c. pomegranate juice
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely.
Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste. Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Add ice block to bowl.
Above recipe serves 10-12 – double it for a larger crowd.