Friday, February 22, 2013

Game Night punch recipes

by Ann
The food table filled with lots of great treats.  
Being in charge of big events is fun, but it is also a relief when they are over!  That's how I felt Tuesday evening at about 10:00 p.m. when the last counter was being wiped down in the kitchen of  the "women's clubhouse," a building in my city's historic district where the service organization I am in meets twice a month.

Generally the meetings consist of planning fundraising or community service events, and a lot of business that is necessary, but not what I'd consider fun.  Don't get me wrong -- we value the friendships made among club members, and we manage to find some fun in everything we do, but with the exception of one or two meetings a year, they are all about getting business done.

This year's president asked me to be in charge of one of the "fun meetings" with the only stipulations being that I don't spend much club money to pull it off and that everyone has a great time.  At this particular meeting members invite potential new members and make sure that they leave with an upbeat impression of our organization.
Each table had a different game or activity.
Assisted by six of my best pals in the club we pulled off a very fun game night with six rotations of different games at tables with color-coded balloons, lots of great food, a couple of punch recipes I am including in this post, and the grand finale of singing an upbeat version of a girlfriend sing-a-long to the tune of the Village People's "YMCA."

There is a rule at this clubhouse that very minimal alcohol is allowed; a provision made for champagne toasts at wedding receptions held in the building.  We occasionally take the concept behind that exception and make it fit our purposes -- as we did on Game Night with a white sangria punch.  (With that said, I made sure that the empty wine bottles went home with me rather than be placed in the trash where the owners might not be as liberal with their interpretation of stretching the rule....) 

Although I plan to share with you my dear friend Ginny's great white sangria recipe, what I am most enthusiastic about is the fruit punch recipe that I will list first.  

A couple of years ago I was in charge of punch for our club's scholarship recipient recognition event where the families of the kids who are awarded scholarships come for a lovely program that highlights the accomplishments of all of the recipients receiving money from our club.  As always, I searched the Internet for a recipe.  I don't like sweet punch.  If there is sherbet floating in punch I run the opposite direction.  The recipe described below is the BEST non-alcoholic fruit punch I have ever had.  In my humble :-) opinion, I have improved it by decreasing the sugar by a whole cup.  Believe me, the way I have it described is plenty sweet, but know that the original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of sugar.
Hmm.... Should I have Sangria or fruit punch to drink??
Fruit Punch Extraordinaire

1 1/2 c granulated sugar
6 c water
1 3 oz packages of strawberry gelatin powder (or one 6 oz box)
1 46-oz can pineapple juice
2/3 c lemon juice
1 quart orange juice
2 2-liter bottles of lemon lime flavored soda

  1. Bring the sugar, water, and gelatin mix to a boil in a large pan and boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in fruit juices.
  3. Divide punch into two gallon-sized ziplock bags and freeze them for at least 8 hours.
  4. Let each bag of frozen punch sit at room temperature for about an hour and then place it in a punch bowl with 1 2-liter bottle of soda.  With a spatula or potato masher break up the frozen punch into pieces.

The frozen bag of punch on the counter at the clubhouse -- retro tile, huh?
Yes, I use a potato masher to break up the frozen punch into the  soda.

Each frozen bag and bottle of soda will serve about 25.

The punch will stay slushy for at least two hours.  It is amazingly tasty -- especially my version with less sugar.

As for the white sangria -- that was a huge hit as well.  In fact, a quadruple batch of it was polished off by the end of the evening, while there was still punch left from my first frozen baggie batch of fruit punch.  I think that speaks more to the crowd that the tastiness of the beverages!  See below for that recipe:

Ginny's White Sangria Punch

8 oz Martinelli's sparkling cider
8 oz mango nectar
2 oz triple sec
2 oz apricot brandy
24 oz Savignon blanc
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
juice of 1 orange, freshly squeezed
fruit for garnish - cherries, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, lime, etc.

Mix and chill all ingredients other than the sparkling cider which you will add immediately prior to serving.
Add ice* and fruit to serve.

*Since I had the freeze-punch-in-baggies concept going, I put some of the Sangria in regular sized baggies, froze it, and added the frozen product to the pitcher with the rest of the sangria prior to adding the Martinelli's.  No sense in watering it down with ice!!!

The event is over and was a huge success --
One more big project to check off the list!  Woo - hoo!


  1. Sounds like you planned a great evening for everyone! The punch recipes look so good. Always looking for something new to serve.
    Thanks for stopping by. I'm a new follower, Mary Alice

  2. Thank you ladies so much for stopping by. I really enjoyed looking through your blog. I would love to be your decorator when we all get to the nursing home!

  3. Thank you for the white sangria recipe! I'll be trying that soon.

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