Looking for a festive, fresh and creative holiday punch? I have just the thing. My red punch recipe is guaranteed to get the party started….and nobody needs to know it’s spiked with antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. It doesn’t even have any refined sugar.
If your party goers are not particularly health-conscious, you can simply play down the health benefits of the punch and instead play up the fact it was inspired by the 2015 color of the year, Marsala. A naturally robust and earthy wine-red, Marsala is said to enrich our minds, bodies and souls, which is sort of what I am going for with my red punch recipe. My take on alcohol is that if you are going to have a cocktail and there is a way to make it taste delicious while also adding nutrition, why not make it like that?
Made with frozen “whole” cranberries and unrefined, unsweetened freeze-dried pomegranate powder, my red punch recipe is not only the color of the moment for the new 2015 year, it is also right in line with the cocktail trends from this past year, which have emphasized high quality, fresh and natural ingredients. It seems as though everybody is starting to step away from the Hawaiian Fruit Punch. Finally. And yes, I’ll drink to that!
And while nobody has asked for my prediction on cocktail trends for 2015 I will just say that I have a feeling unrefined sweeteners such as raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut palm sugar and pureed “whole” fruits and dried fruits (including dates, figs, raisins, etc.) will be in vogue with the cocktail crowd this year. In the red punch recipe below, sweetness comes from oranges, dates, frozen peaches and unrefined pure maple syrup (did you know maple syrup actually has phytonutrients?). Oh! And by the way, if you fancy yourself as a home “mixologist” who wants to get into making great drinks at home without using refined sugar, you will definitely want to consider adding a super-powered high speed blender in your kitchen so you can process dates, figs, etc. I truly could not do without my Vitamix.
Finally, while over-indulging is never my thing when it comes to alcoholic beverages, I will tell you this much, you are guaranteed to feel way better the “morning after” if you happened to have had a wee bit too much of my red punch recipe in comparison to how you would feel having had the same amount of a conventional cocktail or punch made from refined sugar, food dyes, etc. If you are going to drink, you might as well get some nutritional bang with every sip! Cocktails for modern life. It’s a great concept.
Power It Up with Superfood Pomegranate Powder
I’m very into working superfoods (such as pomegranates) into my recipes these days.
However, in the past I have found working with fresh pomegranates to be kind of tricky, not to mention pricey. I find it much easier and more economical to use pomegranate powder instead of fresh pomegranates.
I’m especially fond of Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder, which is 100% certified organic, non-GMO, raw and made from whole pomegranate fruit that is freeze-dried to protect the flavor and nutrients. The powder still delivers the super high vitamin C content and abundance of potent antioxidants (including polyphenols and anthocyanins) that you would get from fresh pomegranate.
Using pomegranate powder just makes life a whole lot easier. And powder is not just for making cocktails and party punch either! I use pomegranate powder all the time as a nutritional booster sprinkled in my oatmeal, smoothies, green drinks, dressings and desserts—it’s incredibly versatile.
Where can you purchase Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder? Of course you can purchase it online at Amazon, but it is also available from Vitacost.com , one of my favorite online grocery shopping destinations for health foods. Vitacost offers savings of up to 50% off retail and free shipping on orders over $25.
- 1 1/4 cups frozen cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups vodka (I like Devotion Vodka)
- 12 pitted medjool dates
- 1 whole orange, peeled
- 1 cup frozen organic peaches
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 1/2 cups seltzer water
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate powder (such as Navitas Naturals Pomegranate Powder)
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Place all ingredients, except for the rosemary sprigs, in a high speed blender (I like Vitamix) and process until smooth. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Serve super cold.
This punch can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Store in a covered container in the fridge until serving time. Serve super cold.