Now that Thanksgiving is over the holiday party season will kick off shortly. And what better way to welcome your guests than a festive cocktail? We always serve wine and beer but a festive cocktail just sets the tone for a fun party. And making a punch is the easiest thing to make ahead of time. My favorite is Pomegranate Punch, a zesty combo of pomegranate juice, mint, lemon juice, lime juice, and vodka. (You can skip the alcohol if you want to make it for an afternoon party.) If you are adding vodka make sure you use a high-quality one; cheap vodka just isn't tasty. Be sure to buy fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish; they look pretty and add a tangy little surprise to the punch; you can find them in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
- 8 medium pomegranates
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 bunch fresh mint, trimmed and rinsed
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups vodka (or more to taste)
- 3 pints pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Cut pomegranates in half crosswise, and extract juice from seeds with a citrus juicer or reamer. Strain juice through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding pulp. You should have about 4 cups of juice.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the mint, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and add ice cubes to chill the liquid. Stir in the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, lime juice,and vodka; let stand for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding mint. Transfer to an airtight container, and chill until ready to serve, up to 1 day. Serve in a punch bowl with a ladle, with a bowl of pomegranate seeds for garnish. (Encourage guests to add a few to their drink.)