Spring! Punch! Slurp!
By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Zowie, I’m excited to be seeing some spring weather and its trusty sidekick, seasonal produce, making an appearance! May is a great month for celebration. Whether it be a bridal or baby shower, a graduation, or an old-fashioned May Day party, a gathering is always more festive around a punch bowl. I’ll be using mine this week to give a certain superhero-themed birthday party a little extra ‘Punch!’ punch.
The great thing about making up your own fruit punch base is that you can pack it full of fresh fruit and cut back on the artificial ingredients. A simple fresh fruit puree is also really versatile and will keep in the refrigerator for several days. You can sweeten the base to taste, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, and use it to mix up any number of concoctions by the glass: from a basic punch, to a sparkling wine cocktail, to a super-fast smoothie mixed with milk and yogurt. So if you happen to have a powerful thirst, an approaching party, or if any caped crusaders come by your kitchen, blend up this fruit base and you’ll be prepared with a punch that smacks of spring.
Homemade Fruit Punch
4 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 16-ounce bottle of pomegranate juice
3-4 liters ginger ale, sparkling juice, or sweet sparkling wine
strawberry or lemon sherbet, for garnish (optional)
Working in batches as necessary, puree the strawberries, pineapple and raspberries with the pomegranate juice in a blender or food processor. Place the fruit puree in a large punch bowl and add ginger ale to desired consistency. If you wish, you can float scoops of sherbet in the punch, or place a scoop in individual glasses when serving.