I was inspired by this request from readrer Kristi Kinkade, who said, "My family has numerous parties during the summer. I'd like to be able to make one beverage that's great for kids, and just by adding alcohol would be great for adults." Well here you go: A sweet and sour lemony base that makes the perfect grown-up cocktail... and also happens to be just as great for the kids.
This is what is known as a shrub or sherbet. It's essentially a sweet and sour base that can be used for a plethora of punch recipes.
Make sure to check out David Wondrich's general tips for making a great party punch, as many of them are instructive here. A gorgeous punch bowl naturally becomes a centerpiece and by simply using petite glassware it creates flow and conversation as guests are obligated to revisit for refills. I love how this punch can be made non-alcoholic or loaded with booze to suit your guest list.
Basic Lemon Raspberry Rum Punchmakes 20 servings
3 lemons peeled, no pith
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries
In a large bowl muddle the lemon peel and sugar. Let this sit at room temperature to extract the lemon oil,for two to three hours or until you're so impatient you can't stand it.
Add the raspberries and muddle to combine. Add the lemon juice to combine and strain the mixture.
For Alcoholic Punch
Add the following to the strained shrub:
1 750ml bottle dark Jamaican-style rum
1 quart fizzy water
*Optional garnish - 1 pint fresh raspberries, lemon slices
For a Non-Alcoholic version:
Double the shrub and fizzy water.
*Optional garnish: 1 pint fresh raspberries, lemon slices
For both punches fill a punch bowl with ice and pour punch over. Ladle into small glasses.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky
It's Reader Request Week at The Kitchn! This post was requested by KRISTI KINKADE.
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)