Refreshing, summery, and full of fresh fruit, this punch was a hit at yesterday’s Kentucky Derby gathering that we hosted at our home. My husband and I prepared a variety of simple finger foods, including crab balls, Old Bay shrimp, Benedictine dip, a cheese ball, appetizer meatballs, tortilla chips and salsa, and cruditè. Recipes for the cheese ball and Benedictine dip to follow this week.
I searched for a punch recipe for this occasion, and ended up combining a few different ideas. The result? A fresh, gorgeous Moscato punch with ripe berries and invigorating mint. Served in a glass pitcher, it was almost too pretty to drink. Last month, we attended a chocolate festival that featured Moscato in a chocolate cup; we purchased a bottle to bring home, so I used that in this recipe.
Instead of adding ice, which would only water it down, I froze some of the strawberries and raspberries and added them to the pitcher before serving. This was a convenient way to keep it chilled. I washed the fruit and cut the strawberries the night before and refrigerated half of it and froze the rest. The halved the strawberries I froze as “ice cubes” and quartered them for adding to the punch when preparing it.
2 bottles sparkling pink Moscato
1 1/2 cups Sprite
1/4 to 1/2 cup Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1 handful fresh mint leaves
*For the fruit “ice cubes” you will need to freeze some of the berries. The night before, you can wash both fruits, and cut the strawberries; I quartered half of the pint of strawberries to add when making the punch and halved the remaining strawberries to freeze. Add half of the raspberries to the halved strawberries to freeze. Stir in just before serving.
Pour two bottles of Moscato, Sprite, and Triple Sec/Grand Marnier into a glass pitcher and stir to combine. Add the fresh strawberries, raspberries, and mint leaves, and refrigerate to allow flavors to meld. When ready to serve, add the frozen berries and stir again.