Poinsettia Punch with Sugared Cranberries
One of the best things about the holiday season? Holiday parties. Even better? Holiday drinks. The Poinsettia made an appearance at my holiday party this year and it was a hit. You may have had a Poinsettia before that was just Champagne and cranberry juice - but the orange liqueur is really what makes it a complete drink. Add some frozen sugared cranberries for added flare.
2 - 750ml bottles Champagne, Cava, Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
3 cups chilled cranberry juice cocktail
3/4 cup chilled Cointreau orange liqueur
1 large orange, sliced thinly into rounds
1 - 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
While all your liquids are chilling, cut the orange into slices. Arrange the slices on a plate or platter and put into the freezer until they are completely frozen (these will keep the punch chilled after you make it). Then make the sugared cranberries.
Now, you could just throw the cranberries in the freezer and then throw them in the punch plain with the orange slices but that's no fun. We're going to blanch them, roll them in sugar THEN freeze them so they actually become edible - and adorable.
In a medium saucepan heat 1 cup of the sugar and the water over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved - about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries and stir until they are all coated in the sugar water.
Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon to a wire rack and dry for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, spread the remaining sugar on a sheet pan or plate covered with parchment and add the cooled cranberries. Roll them around until they are covered in sugar. Transfer to a bowl loose - or skewer 3-4 on fancy toothpicks - and put into the freezer to freeze for at least one hour.
Once all your fruit is frozen, make your punch. Add all the liquids to the punch bowl or decanter and stir well. Add the frozen orange slices and some loose cranberries on top. Serve the punch with your cranberry skewers.
Enjoy! Happy Holidays!