What happens when eight elegant and philanthropic ladies get together to celebrate their annual holiday book club potluck? First off, they arrive with arms laden with large bottles of bubbly, foil-clad casseroles (which need to be reheated), and pretty packages wrapped in pinks, red and gold.
Each lady is like a wrapped package unto herself. Air kisses are shared and coats are peeled off to reveal a light show of glittering cashmere sweaters and bangly gold necklaces.
Because we all know I’m lacking in certain party necessities, Nancy arrives with champagne flutes, a wine bucket, and even a backup bag of ice cubes (I do have ice cubes). Amy starts unwrapping the bottles of Proseco and the corks burst into the air. Carmen arrives with the Buche de Noel from Andres Confiserie. I pull the Whole Foods’ stuffed mushrooms and my roasted brie with jalapeno jelly from the oven and the foiled casseroles go in. In the dining room is my Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Cherries, which I had also made for Thanksgiving.
It’s a PARTY!
Michael Buble is singing in the background and I have yet to make the evening’s signature beverage. I didn’t know what I was going to make yet, but I vaguely remembered a recipe from a New Year’s Eve party from 1999 that included frozen berry concentrate and some ice cream. My plan was to wing it.
The first 20 minutes of the party was in constructing, tasting, adapting, retasting, and tweaking what I hoped would be a winning drink. Everyone participated in the construction and tasting. How can you go wrong with strawberry rum, Proseco, blood orange Italian soda and strawberry ice cream? You can’t… you just work it until it’s perfect.
We ate, we drank and drank, exchanged gifts and the last twenty minutes was spent trying to discuss books and coming up with a name for my new drink. Now remember that I said these were ladies? Well…. even ladies can be naughty after a night of fun.
We wanted a name that would encourage men to drink this pretty-in-pink punch. I won’t reveal her name, but it begins with a “B,” she’s smart as a whip, and came up with a doozy of a name: “The Pink T…y – because you can’t have just one”.
I blushed the color of my beverage and we could all barely stay on our seats we were laughing so hard. But…. since I’m sober, I can’t bring myself to spell it out for you here, but maybe you can fill in the blanks. It’s a great name (think lady parts).
Because I AM a lady and I don’t want to offend any little children, I’ve chosen a name that isn’t as naughty but is still pretty nice. Please enjoy my Berry Kiss-mas Holiday Punch.
Berry Kiss-mas Punch (aka The Pink T…y)
An original TPP recipe
One Large Punch Bowl
2 12-ounce containers of Cranberry Blend Frozen Concentrate
1 cup Strawberry Rum (chilled in the freezer overnight)
2 1-liter bottles of Blood Orange Italian Soda, chilled
2 bottles (750 mls each) Extra Dry Proseco, chilled
1 3.6 oz single serve container of Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream
2 strawberries, brunoise
1 strawberry, brunoise for garnish
Empty contents of frozen concentrate into punch bowl. Add liquid ingredients and stir. Add ice cream in one chunk and allow to float as a solid. Stir everything and allow the ice cream to slowly melt. It will create a beautiful pink foam. Add the diced strawberries. (Ice cubes are not needed.)
Carefully ladle into champagne flutes and allow the pink head to form. Top with one perky little diced strawberry. Voilá. You now can sip on one beautiful Pink T…y. Every girl needs to try it at least once?
NOTE: It helps to prepare for parties a few days ahead of time. I had pulled out my punch bowl over the weekend, and despite being covered in a felt pouch, it had tarnished. After much Googling on how to clean it up, I found the perfect fix — toothpaste! I gently applied the paste with my fingers and wiped it off with a sopping wet sponge. It worked like magic. If you aren’t careful, there is a risk of scratching, but I didn’t notice any. Avoid pastes that include baking soda. You can see in the photo above how shiny the bowl turned out.