Excerpted from "The Modern Mixologist" By Tony Abou-Ganim
Serving a Holiday Punch is a most delightful custom, be it celebrating the first snowfall of the season with a couple of Tom & Jerry’s, or mixing up a bowl of egg nog to see the family through a long night of Christmas Eve tree trimming. Most countries have their own Holiday Punch traditions. There is Sweden’s Glögg, Britain’s Wassail Bowl, Germany’s Gross-mutters Punch, and so on. Each is traditionally served at a gathering of loved ones during the holidays, to accentuate the season’s spirit of joy and happiness.
Yuletide Punch is a lighter, fruit-based alternative to the traditional nag, and a little less complicated to prepare. One of the obvious advantages of serving a batch recipe like this one is that most of the recipe can and should be seen to in advance. More than a matter of convenience, allowing the punch to rest allows its ingredients to intermingle, overnight if possible. Final assemblage, however, should take place immediately prior to serving-if possible, just as the first guests are crossing the threshold. This keeps the bubbles from dissipating and the ice mould from overdiluting the recipe before it can be enjoyed. Plus, the host is more likely to get out of the kitchen and join the party.
With a little imagination and pre-party organization, it is possible to make a punch that looks great and tastes even better. A few tips to remember: