We’ve done it for the past 20+ years and I expect we’ll be doing it for the next 20+ years, too.
As the year starts to wane, and now that we’ve given thanks and counted our blessings with turkey, pie and our family’s love, and are beginning to think of what might lie ahead in the sunshine and sparkles of what we hope the new year will bring, my friends and I gather together to celebrate our long time friendship by doing what we did best in college.
Jello shots? Wellllll…sometimes. But not this time around.
Instead, we head back to our sorority roots and plan a philanthropy to give to others who don’t have it as good as we are so fortunate to have it.
Every Christmas we adopt a family in need—or two, or three, and sometimes four—and thank our lucky stars we can help make children’s Santa wishes come true. And mom, dad, sister and brother’s, too. Because there’s nothing worse than being a parent who can’t provide for your babies.
We wrap gifts and everyone ooos and ahhhs over the cute this and the darling that. We swap stories about what’s going on in all our lives and tell tall stories of years past. And then it’s time to eat.
But we women are still just college girls at heart who like to celebrate, so bubbles first.
This year everyone was first in line for my latest incarnation of champagne punch. Citrus and pomegranates (one of our sorority’s cherished symbols) were the stars of the sipper.
About the recipe
I made my punch extra cheers-y by freezing ice cubes with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. They’re super easy to make and add a true festive flair. Simply start by adding a few mint leaves to to the slots of the ice cube trays. I found using the larger leaves helped hold the pomegranates so they didn’t all drop to the bottom. I also tried to strategically move the seeds to the outsides of the tray slots to show the seeds off at their best.
I most often use prosecco in this punch because it’s generally a bit more economical than the real champs from France. Cava or a white sparkling wine would work well too.
This punch is easily adaptable as a non-alcoholic version. Simply substitute the champagne for sparkling cider or orange flavored sparkling soda.
I like to add thin slices of orange to the punch for a “punch” of brightness. More pomegranate seeds liven up the bubbles too.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds, separated
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 3 cups orange juice
- ½ cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- 2 bottles (750 ml) Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling white wine
- 1 orange, sliced
- **To make this non-alcoholic, substitute the champagne with 1 liter orange flavor sparkling soda and omit the orange-flavor liqueur.
- To make the ice cubes: Place 1-2 mint leaves in each space of an ice cube tray. Divide ¼ to ⅓ cup of the pomegranate seeds among the ice cube spaces. Fill with water and freeze for 4 hours or longer, until solid.
- Mix the pomegranate juice, orange juice and orange liqueur in a large punch bowl over the ice cubes. Add the champagne and stir. Add slices of orange juice and the remaining pomegranate seeds to the juice and serve. Add more mint leaves as garnish if desired.
More Punches to Light Up Your Holidays
Punches make entertaining so much easier, and festive in their own joyous ways. Here are a few more that just might jingle your ball.
Spiced rum, citrus and cranberries make everything right with this one tonight.
Get the recipe | Baked Bree
Sparkling Cranberry Punch
3 ingredients and mere minutes will make everyone merry.
Get the recipe | Taste and Tell
Bruléed Grapefruit Bourbon Punch
‘Tis the season for citrus and whiskey that pack a punch.
Get the recipe | Kailley’s Kitchen
Sparkling Apple Cider Punch
Bourbon is optional. But not in my glass.
Get the recipe | The Lemon Bowl
Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch
This is one of those classics I could get down with because it is a sneaker up on ya. Ring it and bring it.
Get the recipe | Boulder Locavore
Cheers to the holiday. Now it’s time to get your bubbles on and make something good.
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