Tuesday, May 20, 2014
When it comes to disappointing children with my menu items, I’m very well versed. The spring vegetable bruschetta or healthy white bean hummus I’m apt to bring aren’t exactly kiddie crowd pleasers. Take for example this delicious, albeit very adult, punch which I brought to our family Easter lunch. When I busted out the punch bowl my niece Isabel was like, SO excited “oooh! Like we’re having a prom!” I enlisted all the kids’ help with putting the punch together and snapping these two quick photos. They were psyched. I had to break it to them that, while I would prepare them a test batch of non-alcoholic punch, once the cava went in the bowl was completely off limits to them. I’m like the worst aunt ever. "Hey, kids, here’s this hot pink/ purple drink concoction which looks delicious, appealing and fun and no, you can’t have any because it will make your behavior less predictable than it already is and your mom and I will get arrested. SOR-RYYY"
Fortunately, the flavor profile, whether boozed up or not, was not super appealing to their young palates anyways. Blackberries, they can dig, heck, maybe even lime, but ginger? It’s like I pureed Brussels sprouts right in there or something. One by one they each quietly pawned their glasses off on each other, except for Charlie, who’s 7 and brutally honest in the fashion that only an adorable 7 year old can get away with “um, Jessie, I’m sorry but I don’t like this (huge smile) it’s gross.” I felt far less guilty as I upended a bottle of bubbly wine into the bowl and my sister-in-law and I went on to drain several glasses. What do kids know about beverages anyways? The end all be all is a Capri Sun.
This punch is slightly spicy, a bit tart and very refreshing. Thanks to the addition of the ginger beer it’s a bit lower in alcohol than most high test punches (like the one that made my friend fall down her basement stairs at that one Christmas party- that’s a NIGHTTIME punch). This, this is a DAYTIME punch. As such, it’s absolutely perfect for brunch, lunch or the onslaught of bridal and baby showers that May and June bring. Not to mention the fact that it’s just the prettiest purple-pink color that you ever did see. If I ever have yet another (there’s been 2 and counting) Purple Rain-themed birthday party, well, let’s just say I know what I’m serving then.
SPARKLING WINE PUNCH with BLACKBERRY, GINGER and MINT
1-2 bottles dry sparkling white wine (I prefer Cava*)
2 small boxes blackberries
Juice from one lime
Splash orange juice
2 tsp. grated ginger
1-2 inch piece lime zest
1-2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 bottles ginger beer
In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, lime and orange juices, ginger, lime zest and mint. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let reduce approximately 15 minutes, remove from heat and let cool a bit. Using an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor, puree completely and filter through a fine mesh sieve. Punch base can be made 2-3 days ahead of time, store in the fridge in a sealed container. To make punch: fill a large punch bowl with ice, pour in punch base, one bottle of cava, two bottles of ginger beer and garnish with mint leaves.