7 Tips For Making A Holiday Punch Your Guests Will Love
The holidays are coming and that makes it an exciting time for party-planners everywhere. Get-together and family celebrations are eminent!
So what can you do to make your party stand out from the rest?
Sure everyone likely will have a fantastic menu, but what about the extras?
It’s the extras that can set your party apart and make it the one people remember.
One great extra is to focus on holiday punch that blows your guests away.
Here are 7 tips for making a holiday punch your guests will love!
1. Use colorful ingredients to catch your guest’s eye.
When you walk down the street viewing storefronts during the holidays, what is the best thing? Visual appeal! Big stores know that it is the key to engaging customers and attracting them to their showroom. As a party-thrower you can use the same technique.
Or the welcoming pink hue of a pear Prosecco? How about the depth of a plum sangria? Each one has the ability to call to your guests and:
a) welcome them to the party.
b) give them a delicious and unique flavor.
c) use visual appeal to give guests something else to talk about.
Lemon, pear, apple and bananas slices can add the visual mix-up you want.
Not only do they contribute to the overall flavor of the beverage you created, but they also look great. Getting back to that “visual appeal” you’re striving for, they take it up a notch. Your guests will love the overall package of what you made in the punch bowl and likely keep coming back for more!
2. Presentation is everything.
Be sure that you focus on presentation. You want to showcase your creation in the right way to give it the presentation it deserves. Here is where a great punch bowl comes in handy. Likely you don’t use your super-sized bowl every day, so pull it out and make it useful today.
It’s best to set up your punch area in the far-end of a room and against the wall.
Use napkins, table cloths and plates that are colorful and fit with the theme of the day. This adds to making the table visually exciting.
Finally, with your punch table, let your punch bowl be the centerpiece. No need to rush out and get more flowers or candles. The punch bowl is a great focal point for your table. Plus, with the delicious drink you’ll be serving in it, people will love that you included it in the night!
3. Pick good quality alcohol.
There is some debate about what type of alcohol to pick for your punch bowl drink. You could go with an off-brand or cheaper alcohol grade, but remember the purpose of your night. You most likely put a lot of time into the party planning and the menu, so why skimp on alcohol?
It’s these qualities that make it better tasting and smoother.
Investing in a higher quality alcohol doesn’t have to break your bank, but it does offer an advantage. With better quality your drink truly will develop into what you want: a delicious, rich-bodied beverage with full flavor. You’ve put a lot of efforts into the meal so match it up with a high-quality beverage to welcome your guests to your party.
4. Have the right bar equipment to help you.
To make the drink worthy of sharing with your guests, have the right bar equipment. That means the right mixers, glasses and various accouterments needed. A good muddler, for example, is critical to some drinks. If your punch has pieces of fruit or herbs in it, having it properly broken down is important. When you break down these things is when they truly impart their flavors. You’ll find that throwing a lemon wedge into a single drink offers a very different taste than adding lemon juice. That’s because the juice is fully broken down and the flavor is as potent as it can get. The lemon wedge, on the other hand, still has a lot of flavor encased in the not-yet-broken-down pulp.
To remedy this and make the most out of your flavors, invest in good bar equipment. Give yourself a muddler to work with, and also various mixing rods and spoons. If you’re making punch, likely a regular spoon won’t work due to the size of your punch bowl and amount of mixing you really need to thoroughly blend the mix.
At any party you likely are going to have at least a few people who request individual drinks. Yes- your punch is top-notch, but some people will just want their old standby drinks. Here is where you bar equipment can save you time. A sturdy shaker cup, jigger and strainer can easily be pulled out to make customized drinks quickly. That way you can get back to your duties of hosting the party.
5. Think outside of the box.
Remember that this is your party so you can think outside of the box all you want. For example, for a Christmas party almost everyone thinks of spiked apple cider. Now while it is delicious, it isn’t exactly the stand-out centerpiece that every host wants. Instead, think of what alcoholic beverage you want to showcase. What beverage really portrays your goal for the party? It could be vodka. It could be Prosecco. It could be wine. Once you know what it is, build your punch around it.
You also can think of what fruits make the visual statement you want. Have you ever seen a beautiful punch bowl with floating orange wedges? Under the perfect light this can give you the perfect look to your table. A punch bowl with sprigs of herbs to imbue added flavors can contribute to your table also. Remember that as the host, you don’t have to go with the common drink or combinations. You can use your own imagination to get the punch you want.
If you are truly thinking outside of the box though, do some taste-testing beforehand. Make a smaller batch of your beverage and test it out with friends. You also may want to mix the batch and let it sit for a while. Your holiday punch is likely going to sit on the table for at least a few hours and its flavors will continue to develop throughout that time. For a truly accurate taste of what you’ll end up with, give your separate batch time to change. You want to know what the punch is going to taste like at the beginning and well-into your party.
6. Decide how much you need based on the guest list.
If you are having 3-4 of your closest friends over for your holiday party then the amount of punch you need isn’t that big of a concern. A good-sized punch bowl will likely suffice. On the other hand if you have family and extended family coming to your festivities, you may need to do some calculations.
As a general rule, a 750ml bottle of alcohol will serve 6-drinks of 4-ounces each. Usually people consume about 2 drinks per hour. Of course here’s where it gets tricky—if you know that your family or friends are bigger drinkers, then you can up that average. On the other hand, if there are only a few key drinkers in your crowd, then you can decrease it.
Here is one at Evite.com, It’s helpful to estimate how much alcohol you’ll need and have a backup. Even if your guests don’t finish it all, you’ll have a reserve for your next get-together.
7. Don’t make it too strong.
Finally, consider your guests when you are making your punch. If you have a bigger party, likely you have a diversity of people with a diversity of drinking preferences. You don’t want to make your punch so strong that people pass out after the first glass, and you don’t want to make your punch so weak that your guests will question its content. Again- this is where a good taste-test prior to your actual party will serve you well. Decide on the ratio that is optimal with your test batch and then increase it proportionally for the event.
Also consider your guests’ preferences. If you’re having elderly guests over they may not want a strong drink. On the other hand if you are having a party with your college roommates, then they may want something stronger. The great thing about holiday punch bowls is that you can customize them for any audience. Regardless of preference, you can make the perfect drink to serve everyone.
When it comes to the holiday punch, use it to set your party above the rest. Decide on the look you want, the setting of the party and the general preference of the group. Having the punch bowl and table looking perfect can be the visual stand-out that your party deserves!