Aviation Gin Blog
Home Parties 102: Punch Ice
David Wondrich, Cocktail historian, Esquire cocktail columnist, and author of Imbibe! and Punch is quoted in saying this about the newest trend in home entertaining: the flowering punch bowl, “the greatest social beverage of all time,” that “now more than ever we need beverages that promote friendship.” He calls punch “more gentle than cocktails”, its preparation “easy and utterly pleasurable.” The punch bowl is communal, ideal for a group or festive gathering, less laborious than individual cocktails, and a hell of a lot more fun. As Dave states in the book’s preface: “most of punch’s stories are of warm fellowship, and conviviality, and high-spirited gatherings afloat on oceans of witty talk” — not to mention a few “battles and brawls.” –sfbg.com
He has one heck of a vocab, as he should, but to say that in Arthur lingo, I would say Punch as a cocktail category has overflown in the spirits industry, from the swankiest clubs, impossible to find speakeasies, to the home bars of bloggers, enthusiasts, and party hosts. How many bottles of wine have you opened for your friends when they come over for dinner? I’m not saying I’d ever turn down a nice glass of rose any day, but imagine the look on your guests face when you offered them instead a homemade glass of gin punch!? It’s easy, and fun, and helps in eliminating any awkwardness of introducing new friends.
You can find many great, easy to make recipes here, after you’ve mastered making the punch, you can get started on fancy ice. I mean, why not? Here’s some fun and easy ways to make your punch bowl even more enticing!
Why? Punch is made to sit around a bit, not forever, but long enough to serve all your guests as they make their appearances. To help with not diluting your punch to quickly and maintaining all the flavors you worked so hard on blending together a large ice block allows the punch to stay cold and melts slowly.
Pick a Vessel: there are many ideas, some more functional, some more whimsical…all you need is space in your freezer and a couple days to wait.
-Deli containers or Tupperware: all work just fine, and sizing shapes to fit your bowl is relatively easy.
– Small igloo: makes larger cubes, you can freeze and cut smaller cubes out of one big block. For clearer ice you can cut the bottom of the cube off or not allow it to freeze completely. This does take about 3 days.
-Bunt cake pan: create an ice ring easily with decorative molds found easily in your closest thrift store. In fact, create ice cubes from any mold pan wonderfully.
-Water balloons: turn a balloon inside out to avoid powder, and fill with water. If possible hang in your freezer with clothes pins to create a beautiful tear drop shape.
-Orange juice cartons: fill and freeze, easy to tear off carton after the ice block is formed
Martha Stewart that Ice! : Decorating, coloring or even flavoring your homemade ice cubes is super simple. Add cut fruit, fresh flowers, juices for color, bitters, or food coloring to any of the above molds by simply adding them into the water before freezing. To hold them at the bottom of the mold just add bigger, heavier ice in the water to keep weight on your decorations, then just flip it over before placing in punch bowl! The options are endless.
Good luck and happy ice making!!!
*Brooke would like to thank Facebook, and all her crazy punch making friends
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