Easy, Fast Non-Alcoholic Punch Recipe for Springtime?
April 18, 2014 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Please share with me your best springtime punch recipes that are alcohol free and really fast and easy to make!

My parents are coming on Sunday for Easter brunch so this is a no alcohol event (neither of them drink). For us this is basically like a springtime version of Thanksgiving -- we eat way too much seasonal food and then lie around whining about how we're full. What is a punch that would be good for this? For reference, we're having stuff like cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, fruit tarts, and lace cookies (in addition to a leg of lamb).

This recipe needs to be easy, FAST, have as few ingredients as possible, and ideally be pretty cheap. If possible I'd like to make it tomorrow night to have it ready for Sunday but if it's easy enough I can do it Sunday morning. There will be eight people here. Thank you!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Our family go-to is a black tea punch. It's sprite/7up/, flavored black tea (my personal favorite is a peach, but you can mix and match as you desire) sugar to taste, and that's it.

It may take a while to make the tea, but I tend to make a bunch at once and then cool it for reheating or to mix with ice for ice tea.

It sounds like it would go well with your afternoon tea like menu!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 10:19 AM on April 18, 2014

Ginger ale + limeade concentrate + scoops of orange sherbet. Use your judgment for proportions -- there's a lot of room.
posted by gauche at 10:20 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Childhood birthdays always included 7-Up Sherbet punch.
posted by juniperesque at 10:23 AM on April 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, ginger ale. I'd mix it with (100% real) grape juice or cranberry juice and float frozen grapes or berries in it for color and to keep it cold. Or make ice cubes out of some of the juice, with fruit embedded in them.

Or sparkling nonalcoholic cider. It's normally expensive but may be on sale at Costco or similar right now. Again use fancy ice and/or frozen fruit.

The nice thing about these is you can quickly make new batches as needed so it will always be cold and fizzy.
posted by BibiRose at 10:26 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Two parts seltzer, to one part each of cranberry juice and lemonade. Bitters go well with it if anyone likes bitters. Some ginger ale can take the edge off the tartness.
posted by griphus at 10:27 AM on April 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

3 cups cubed seeded watermelon, cubed and frozen
1.5 cups lemon sorbet
16 ice cubes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Blend these things together in your blender and you've got a punch goin'. Serves 4.
posted by sockermom at 10:27 AM on April 18, 2014

Pineapple juice, cranberry juice and 7-Up or Ginger Ale.

It would be nice to have some Ginger Beer and Root Beer on ice as well.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:28 AM on April 18, 2014

Almond Tea Punch.

Or, you know, just Arnold Palmers. Jug of iced tea plus lemonade (either from the cold case, soda aisle*, or freezer section).

*I don't know how limited the release is, I can only find it in Target in Southern California and only in 12-packs of cans, but there is a Sunkist sparkling lemonade that is exactly what it sounds like. So good in tea.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:34 AM on April 18, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far! I should add that I don't really drink any caffeine and even decaffeinated stuff often gives me a slight case of the crazies so unfortunately tea options are out.

Also, secret bonus points if the punch would be extra delicious if I add gin after my parents leave.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:42 AM on April 18, 2014

Ooh, well, in that case I would just get a bottle of elderflower syrup like that stuff they have at Ikea and stir it into a bottle of seltzer with some lemon slices. (May not actually be fast depending on your distance from the elderflower syrup, but fast prep time.)
posted by clavicle at 11:00 AM on April 18, 2014

Virgin Sangria:

3-4 cups grape juice or cranberry juice
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 Orange cut into wedges
1 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
1-2 cups orange juice
3-4 cups ginger ale
1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)

Pour juices into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice (and gin). Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled juice and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangrias are chilled around 24 hours in the frig. - allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

Sangria is traditionally made with (cheap) red wine (hence grape or cranberry juice to substitute) then doctored back to full strength with brandy or gin. Serve non-alcoholic for your parents, and add a shot or so of gin per cup that's left in the bowl to doctor it back up after they leave.
posted by PearlRose at 11:07 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rosemary Limeade, and other ideas.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:21 PM on April 18, 2014

Watermelon Agua Fresca. Mint makes a nice addition. Gin makes a very nice addition.

BTW, you can make an agua fresca from any fruit or melon. Honeydew + cucumber also make a nice gin-friendly drink and might be more springy than summery watermelon.
posted by fontophilic at 1:46 PM on April 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

In my tea punch recipe (or any other), replace real tea with either Hibiscus tea, which is actually a tisane not a tea, or hibiscus juice or hibiscus drink (often in the Hispanic foods section, where hibiscus is called "jamaica"), or possibly jamaica agua fresca. It's a fruity flavor, but earthy-fruity rather than fruit punch fruity. It couldn't be wrong with gin.

If I was making this and being experimental, I might do a ginger ale-based punch and use tamarind juice/agua fresca in lieu of other fruit juices, but I'm crazy for tamarind.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:30 PM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

For a cool, refreshing, summery non alcoholic drink, I like menthe a l'eau (mint syrup added to ice water, about 1 part syrup to 7 parts water). When I've had it in France, the mint syrup made it a lurid green, but you could make your own mint simple syrup without food colouring.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:33 PM on April 18, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers, everyone! Griphus' suggestion is the one that works best for this particular event but I will consider others for another time and I appreciate all your ieas.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:22 PM on April 18, 2014

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