Perfect New Year’s Eve Party Punch

I mentioned the other day that I’m not a big drinker, but even when I do drink, I’m all about it tasting good. I can’t get behind a drink that makes me cringe with every sip…I don’t eat food that tastes unpleasant, why would I drink beverages that do? As I said before, one of my favorite cocktails is a Cosmopolitan, but for New Year’s Eve, I like to make something a lot more fun.

What could be more fun than a frozen fruit punch cocktail?! Plus, how about those cocktail picks, huh? Don’t worry…I’m not stingy. You can have them too!

I’ve been making this punch for a lot of years, and it is always wonderful. I generally make it non-alcoholic so the whole family can enjoy it (and do they ever!), but it’s easy to punch this up (pardon the pun) for adults. You can even serve it at a party for everyone, by adding a little alcohol individually for the adults as you serve it (I usually so a shot of vodka per glass).

This is awesomely dairy- and gluten-free, too, so you don’t even have to worry about allergies when you serve it! I tried to do a little research into vegan gelatin for this too, but I don’t really have the knowledge to pass along directions comfortably. I’d love to here from any vegan friends if there would be a suitable alternative for the strawberry gelatin.

This punch has a little bit of a lot of yummy ingredients: pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon juice, strawberry gelatin mix, sugar, and water. Plus, a little citrus vodka for the adults, if you like! You could also do rum, or I suppose even tequila, but I’m a vodka girl myself.

In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and gelatin mix. Bring to a boil and cook for two or three minutes, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, pour the mixture into a freezer safe container. I like to use gallon zip top bags, then sit them into a larger bowl. Freeze the mixture until almost completely frozen. If it freezes solid, just allow to thaw in the sink for a couple of hours.

Place the frozen punch in a large bowl. If it’s still very frozen, use a large wooden spoon to gently break up the pieces. Try to break down the biggest chunks.

Next, add about two liters of clear carbonated beverage. You can use lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, but my personal favorites are sparkling apple cider (for non-alcoholic) or champagne. That’s right, champagne. Yummmm! When I use champagne, I typically skip any other alcohol additions, though, but that’s your call-the punch tastes great either way.

I dressed my punch glasses up with some little homemade cocktail picks, too. These were super easy and make the drinks look a little more festive.

All I did was make a little “Happy New Year” banner (and one that says “2011”) and print them out. I made them so that they could be double-sided, too.

Next I just cut each banner out with pinking shears (they give that pointed edge), folded them in half so the two sides lined up, and trimmed close to the edges with the pinking shears. Next, I wrapped them around a wooden skewers and secured them with a little craft glue. I also added some little streamers at the top, for a little extra punch, but these are still very cute without them.

To make the streamers, I just cut a 2-inch by 1.5-inch strip of tissue paper. Next, I cut thin strips, lengthwise, into the tissue, leaving about three eighths of an inch of uncut paper at the bottom. I spread a small amount of craft glue on the uncut section and wrapped it tightly around the top of the skewer, then glued the banner on normally. Voila! Fun, elegant, and festive cocktail picks.

The streamers add just a little extra something, but the ones I made without them are still adorable! I think these would be fantastic as cupcake toppers too! Plus, you can give them even more pizazz if you want, by adding a little glitter here and there. The links for these free printable picks are at the end of the post. Print away, my friends.

Don’t they create just the right festiveness for NYE celebrations?! I made them on a whim, and I seriously love how they turned out. I’m so glad I decided not to be lazy.

This punch has been a huge hit every time I’ve ever served it. When I take it to parties, there’s never any left over, and it’s enjoyed by kids and adults alike! It’s fast and easy to make, too, which is always a bonus. The recipe easily doubles, and the base can stay frozen for a few months before serving. For a fun, festive New Year’s Eve party drink, you can’t go wrong here. Enjoy!

Perfect Alcoholic Party Punch
Ingredients

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1   3-ounce package strawberry gelatin mix
24 ounces pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup citrus flavored vodka
2-liter bottle of clear soda, or 2 to 3 bottles champagne

Perfect Non-alcoholic Party Punch
Ingredients

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1   3-ounce package strawberry gelatin mix
24 ounces pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1  2-liter bottle clear soda (lemon lime or ginger ale), or 2 to 3 bottles sparkling apple cider

**If you use the champagne for adults, you can make the punch without the vodka, if you like. just replace it with another cup of orange juice. Furthermore, the directions are the same for both recipes up until the addition of alcohol.**

In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and the 3-ounces of gelatin mix. Bring to a boil and cook for two or three minutes, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. If using, stir in the vodka now.

Once cooled, pour the mixture into a freezer safe container. I like to use gallon zip top bags, then sit them into a larger bowl. Freeze the mixture until almost completely frozen. If it freezes solid (the vodka mixture shouldn’t), just allow to thaw in the sink for a couple of hours.

Place the frozen punch in a large bowl. If it’s still very frozen, use a large wooden spoon to gently break up the pieces. Try to break down the biggest chunks. Add the liters of clear carbonated beverage or champagne and stir gently to combine. Store in the freezer until ready to serve (not more than a few hours for the non-alcoholic, or it will re-freeze completely). Serve as a slushy cocktail.

Recipe by Darla, Cocktail pick banners created by Darla

Click on the link(s) below to download, then print on heavy white paper:
“2011” Cocktail Flags
“Happy New Year!” Cocktail Flags

 

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Comments

  1. Marcie says

    That sounds great! What might you suggest for replacing the pineapple juice, though? My brother can't have pineapple, guava, grapefruit, or pretty much anything tropical fruit-wise because it reacts badly with the medication that he has to take because of his kidney transplant. I like to make sure that I can make things that he can enjoy, too, so I'm wondering if there's a different type of juice option that might be a good substitute for this mix.

  2. Darla says

    @Marcie – I've never made it with any substitutions, so I'm not 100% sure how it will taste, but I think a good alternative would be white grape juice. To increase the tartness that you lose with the pineapple juice, you could add an extra tablespoon or 2 of lemon juice.

    I think you could also try doing 1/2 of it in white grape juice and 1/2 of it in additional orange juice.

    I hope this helps, and I'd love to hear what you choose to do and how it turns out!

  3. linda says

    wishing you a wonderful, joy filled new year …enjoyed in good health!

    i really enjoy bakingdom…you are very talented & creative!
    all the best :)

  4. Jan says

    LOVE the flags! I'm excited to give them a try- I've been searching your blog for Birthday flags… can't find any…. those would be really fun! thanks

  5. Medifast Coupon says

    This slushy punch does look perfect for a party! The addition of a sparkling wine is great but also by itself a crowd pleaser.Good idea.

  6. Maaike says

    Instead of gelatine you could use agar agar, I (as a vegeterian) use it in pudding. It works the same way as gelatine. This looks delicious!

  7. Nikki says

    You should maybe consider taking of the 1 in front of the jello and have it read 3 oz pack of jello instead of
    1 3 oz jello, I mistook it for 13oz of jello and now I have a slightly weird tasting bag of jello in my freezer. :)

  8. Andrea R says

    Hey Darla! Is this punch more pink in person or red? It looks pretty red, but I could see where it might be pink. I’m going to a pink party this Saturday, and thought about making this to take.

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