Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July Champagne Punch

Every July, I throw my husband a birthday party. I hear that's what many wives do for their doting spouses. But Bob's birthday is just a little bit different. In fact, it's not just a single day anymore - the entire month of July is "birthday season."

Some call it crazy, we call it "Bob-a-palooza." There's staff, copious amounts of booze, a decoration budget, costumes, pinatas, prizes, goodie bags. And although I remind my husband every year that most men in their 30s have outgrown the themed birthday, he reminds me that he's not like other men (i.e. mature).  I don't even bother asking him what he wants for his birthday anymore, I just inform him that the party is his gift.

Planning for Bobapalooza starts 10 to 11 months ahead of time. It's like painting the Golden Gate Bridge - you paint from one end to another, and when you finish, you just pick up your brushes and buckets and head back to the other end. So when discussions for 2012's theme began in late 2011, there was no theme too bizarre, to0 wild, too inappropriate.

And then the rallying cry came flying from Bob's lips, "Christmas and my birthday have been apart for far too long!"

Seriously? Yep. Bob-a-palooza 2012: Christmas in July

It was a really, really good party. I highly recommend the projects, recipes and decorations we used. Whether you do it in December or July is entirely up to you.

Christmas in July Champagne Punch
(we should really call it knock-you-on-your-ass-deliciousness, but that was a little wordy)
Serves 20-24

4 bottles champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco, chilled
36 oz pomegranate juice, chilled 
36 oz Trader Joe’s cherry cider, chilled
Homemade Ice Mold
Garnish: 4 sliced clementines and/or tangerines, fresh pomegranate seeds

Combine all ingredients in the order listed to your punch bowl. It's important to add the sparkling wine first, as if you do it the other way, it may foam up and make a big mess.

Homemade Ice Mold
time: 24 hours, largely unattended

1 bundt pan, or similar shaped tube pan
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (I got mine from Trader Joe's)
8 sliced tangerines, thinly sliced in rounds
8 cups water

Fill the pan 1/3 of the way up with water (about 2 cups) and drop in 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds. Lay sliced tangerines on top so that they float and just barely overlap. Freeze until mostly solid, about 6 hours. Repeat, until all the fruit is used up and/or the bundt pan is full.

To unmold, fill large bowl with warm water and dip mold into the bowl, being careful not to let warm water into the bundt mold. After a few dips, it should loosen up significantly. Place directly into your punch-filled bowl.


Dancing Branflake said...

Oh yum! This sounds so good!

Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious said...

That punch looks magnificent!