Concocting elegant party beverages

I’d like a recipe for a clear punch — either a wine or citrus beverage. It is for a baby shower and lunch. We want it to be elegant and don’t want a red punch. Thank you.

You are correct — most punch recipes have cranberry juice as a coloring agent. I’m going to assume that “clear” is more important to you than “color.” So, I’ll skip the wonderful punch ingredients like apricot nectar, pineapple juice, orange juice or lemonade. That leaves you with only a few options.

Among juices, apple and white grape are transparent. Any clear soda, like ginger ale or 7UP, will add flavor and sparkle. Some bottled sparkling waters are available today with flavorings: Lemon, orange, and cherry. Of course, sparkling wines add much more than flavor and sparkle, if you are seeking a little kick to your punch. I suggest you experiment with those ingredients until you find the best combination for your baby shower.

If you want to have some real fun, test my tried and true White Sangria. Mix a 1.5 liter bottle of your favorite white wine with one can Minute Maid Limeade concentrate (do not dilute). Serve over ice in a large glass pitcher, with a big stirring stick. Decorate the pitcher by stirring-in sliced or diced fresh orange, lemon and lime. If you want to ease the wine-kick and quench your thirst, add seltzer water. I suggest testing this before you serve it at a party, so you can choose the most appropriate potency for the occasion and the guests.

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