I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday week! We had a great time with friends from out of town, celebrating birthdays, putting up Christmas decorations (on Friday), and of course a lovely Thanksgiving. (Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of our plates this year, but it was tasty.) :) Now that Thanksgiving is over, everyone’s starting to gear up for Christmas and all the festivities it brings. I know that for a lot of people that can mean parties, attending and hosting. If you’re hosting a party this season, I can help you out with a fantastic punch recipe. Not only does this hot punch make your house smell lovely, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser. Every time I take this somewhere, it gets rave reviews, and I get lots of requests for the recipe. It’s actually super easy to make and lends itself well to being prepped ahead of time.
A lady at my dad’s church used to make this, and she was sweet enough to share the recipe with us. But like many older recipes, it’s not very detailed. I’ve made it tons of times, so it’s easy for me to just taste it and decide what needs to be done. For those of you who haven’t tasted it already, I’ve tried to give comments that would help you know what to expect, but feel free to comment with any questions.
Hot Mulled Punch (from Mrs. Brown)
4 1/2 c. (36 oz.) cranberry juice (You can use cranberry cocktail or a cranberry juice blend, but I don’t recommend straight up cranberry juice. It’s way too tart, and you’ll have to add a lot of sugar to make it palatable.)
6 c. (48 oz.) apple juice
3/8 c. brown sugar
3/8 tsp. salt
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/8 tsp. whole cloves
- Pour the juices into a pot. Put the spices and sugar in a paper towel and hang it in the juices. Heat.
Notes: That’s really all the directions she had! I usually tie up the spices and sugar in a single layer of paper towels with some twine, and then tie it around the lid of the pot, so that it hangs in the juices. You can do this in a crockpot or a pot on the stove, whatever works best for you. As for the time, that’s up to your personal tastes. The longer you let it steep, the stronger the spice flavor will be. I usually do it for a couple of hours on low to medium-low heat. If you need it ready faster, you can do it at a higher heat, but you’ll just want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. To tell if it’s done, you need to taste a little and see if it tastes spiced. For the first bit, it’ll mostly just taste like tangy juices, and there should be a definite difference in the final product. On a side note, it’s actually good cold and lukewarm, but steaming hot is my favorite way to have it.
Simple, right? I’m not generally a punch person (most punches being juice + ginger ale + sherbet), but this has always been a favorite. Enjoy!
P.S. On Instagram, I’ve decided to do my own holiday inspired photo a day project where each day I share a picture of one of my Christmas decorations. I hope you’ll check it out and maybe even join in. Merry Christmas!