Archive for May, 2018

Opera Ball Punch

May 9, 2018

Don always ordered special refreshments for the university’s Opera Ball. Whether tea sandwiches and fancy small cakes or an assortment of tapas and mini tarts, it was a mad scramble to get the trays ready in time. When the request came in to include a fruit punch, desperate for time, I turned to frozen juice concentrate.

What evolved at the last minute became our standard Opera Ball Punch, and to this day it’s still a respectable alcohol-free party potion. It’s refreshing, not sticky sweet and enjoyable for both adults and children.

As May fills our calendars with end of the school year celebrations, graduations, picnics and parties, a quickly prepared, inexpensive punch is a handy formula to have in one’s recipe file. When I needed fruit punch for a group last week, I noticed that the original frozen grapefruit juice concentrate was no longer available in my large suburban supermarket. Instead I substituted low sugar, high fructose corn syrup free, lemonade. We also found that the punch flavor improved with a rest of a few hours in the fridge after mixing.

The punch may be fancied up with a fruit studded ice ring, a bouquet of fresh mint sprigs or plain with jingling ice in a frosty pitcher. Keep it tart adding just club soda for a last minute sparkle or sweeten it with ginger ale instead.

punch fixings

Opera Ball Punch

2 12 oz. cans frozen orange juice concentrate

1 12 oz. can frozen pineapple juice concentrate

1 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate (low sugar)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 liter club soda or ginger ale, chilled

Stir together the juices plus 18 cups of

my grandson mixing punch

water in a 3-gallon soup pot or plastic

container. Add vanilla. Decant into jars and refrigerate a few hours. Just before serving pour into pitchers or a punch bowl; stir in a generous amount of ice and the chilled club soda or ginger ale. Serves 30 or more.