For serving large groups with little fuss or bother, nothing beats a sparkling fruit punch (either alcoholic or nonalcoholic). One thing to serve…. one kind of glass…. and almost everything is do ahead. Making a sparkling punch adds a little pizzazz to the gathering.
Sparkling fruit punch is best served very cold. You may want to make a decorative ice ring to help maintain its chill. You can freeze cranberries and white grapes in an ice ring for decorative purposes.
When serving punch you need to determine the amount of punch you will need and plan accordingly. If you are having a dinner party and the punch will be served with appetizers before the meal you would need 1 to 1-1/2 quarts for a small intimate dinner of 4 up to 1 ½ to 2 gallons for a gathering of 20. If you are having a party where it is just finger food and the sparkling punch you would need anywhere from 2-2 ½ quarts up to 2 ½ to 3 gallons, depending if other beverages are served and the total of people attending.
You will need:
32 ounces pineapple-orange juice chilled.
1 can (16 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed.
1 bottle (2 liters) ginger ale
Or if you prefer an adults only sparkling punch
2 bottles (750 ml each) champagne chilled.
2 oranges thinly sliced
2 lemons thinly sliced
First mix pineapple-orange juice and lemonade concentrate together in large punch bowl. Then you place the orange and lemon slices into the mixture.
Right before you are ready to serve pour in the ginger ale or champagne (your choice). Then add the ice ring. Be careful when adding ice ring so as not to splash any punch out of the bowl.
To make the ice ring for your sparkling punch you use a gelatin mold and pour about ½ inch of water into mold then place fruit and/or mint leaves. Freeze and then add more water to cover; freeze again. In place of water you could always use white grape juice. Using distilled water will give the ring a better clarity.
In place of the ice ring you can always make ice cubes with fruit chunks in them. You will need to use small chunks of fruit for the ice cubes. White seedless grapes, red seedless grapes, cranberries, small chunks of pineapple, mint leaves or even orange slices cut into small chunks.
Another option for garnishment would be to freeze several bunches of seedless grapes and use them in place of the ice ring or ice cubes.
A sparkling fruit punch served in sugar frosted glasses would be a sweet addition. Dip the rim of each glass in lemon, lime or orange juice, and then in sugar. Chill the glasses to harden the sugar. The sugar coated glasses puts the finishing touches to the perfect sparkling punch.
This will make approximately 12 servings of 1 cup each.