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1 / Combine Sweet And Sour
You don’t need 20 ingredients to achieve nuance; go with a simple balance of booze and stir ins. In a lidded glass or large plastic container, combine a 750ml bottle of red wine, ¾ cup sweet sherry, ½ cup brandy, ¼ cup icing sugar, ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg and a thinly sliced lemon.
2 / Chill, Son
Refrigeration not only brings the punch to serving temperature but it also helps the flavours meld. Chill the punch for at least three hours before serving.
3 / Ice Your Guests
A block of ice melts more slowly than cubes do, which means the punch won’t become diluted as quickly. The night before, rinse out a milk or juice carton, fill it with water and freeze. Just before party time, peel away the carton and place the ice block in the bowl. Pour in the punch and then slowly stir in one litre of soda water, adding more to taste. Makes 18 to 26 servings
Source: Dan Searing, author of Punch Bowl: 75 Recipes Spanning Four Centuries of Wanton Revelry
Buy a better bowl A serving bowl for cold punch should be deep for easy ladling. And it should have a little class – a Tupperware tub won’t cut it. Check out the Acrylic Single Beverage Dispenser (R399, 5rooms.co.za). It even comes with a tap!