Recipe For The Best Christmas Punch, (Or How To Get Your Friends Slaughtered At Your Christmas Party)

So, this year’s Christmas party is done and dusted. More than thirty of us sweltered under the deck on what felt like the hottest day of the past month – as ordained by climate change or whichever God seems to take such personal pleasure out of fucking up my life as often as possible.

And yet, other than NC’s comments about how my plastic glasses were killing turtles, the permanent gush of sweat dribbling down my back, the red punch stains down my new silk lounge pants, the soggy lettuce in the mini prawn cocktails, the coriander I bought instead of mint, or (as per usual), my inability to remember to cook up the bulk of the frozen savory appetizers after a few glasses of aforementioned punch, all went surprisingly well.

Photo from original Taste recipe

I’ve decided that along with Michael Buble’s Christmas songs on repeat, watching the expressions on the faces of kids eating olives for the first time and Amaretto mince pies, a good Christmas punch is an absolute necessity for a Christmas party. And once our core group of 50-somethings had nervously sniffed our version, got to grips with their (justified) fears about what was in it, (because of work the next day etc), it didn’t take long until we found ourselves on a community mission to finish all eighteen litres of the devilish stuff.

The old man – who knocks up a mean Sangria for each birthday party – tried out a new punch recipe this year – The Berry Christmas Punch from Taste. And because it’s Christmas and the season for giving, and it received such a wealth of slurred compliments (I think), I thought I’d gift it to you.

BERRY CHRISTMAS PUNCH (6 Servings)

Ingredients:

1.5 litres of raspberry/cranberry juice, well-chilled

2 x 187ml Sparkling wine, well-chilled

1/2 cup of Cointreau

2 limes

250g strawberries

150g blueberries

120g raspberries

1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves

Method:

Pour the cranberry juice, sparkling wine and Cointreau into punch bowl. Use your hands to squeeze some of the juice from the limes into the punch. Stir to combine. Add the squeezed limes to the punch.

Add the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mint leaves.

FYI, a few changes we made from the original recipe: we used cranberry juice and a bottle of processed lime juice for $2 in place of the 12 limes at $1.50 each – WTF? Also, there was no mint in our version, for obvious reasons.

You’re welcome!

The Christmas Party and The Hangover Part 4

We still haven’t quite worked out how the Princess Spoodle managed to get stuck in NC’s shower cubicle the morning after the Christmas party.

We’re praying she didn’t have an all-nighter in there, but it was highly reminiscent of the tiger scene in The Hangover.

The Christmas Party and The Hangover Part 4
Who did this?

Did she actually have the skill to close the glass door behind her while she took her morning shower, or did she inadvertently close it behind her? Even more likely, did one of those malevolent, dosser teens who were staying at our house that night, think it would be a funny prank?

Fortunately, NC noticed her her sad little face peering through the glass as she took her morning pee.

Unfortunately, I can’t really blame Kurt for this one, as he didn’t surface until mid-morning, having partied like an animal himself until the early hours.

And in spite of the rules drilled into him before the party.

It was awkward, to say the least, when he came to sleep in the spare room in the early hours, only to find his father and myself already ensconced there due to HIS noise above our bedroom.

Obviously he is back in the doghouse (his father’s usual abode) for breaking those carefully negotiated house party rules. Why is plan A so difficult for Kurt? Which part of ‘no alcohol or food’ in his bedroom didn’t he understand?

Which means there’s another ‘good behaviour chart from hell’ fuglying up the fridge door, designed by the therapist this time in a last-ditched attempt to get our son under control and our parenting skills up to Antonia Kidman standards.

This one’s a real motherfucker of a chart with colour and bold and everything, a be-penitent-or-else, do-or-die chart, so that we can justify giving him his Christmas present. It will be a truly fabulous Christmas Day if Kurt doesn’t get his present. I might leave home for the day. It’s day three now and he’s already tried to negotiate and manipulate me into removing some of what he considers to be the more heinous tasks on there. Frankly, I can’t understand what his problem is with cleaning the bathroom floors with a toothbrush!

I live in hope that one day he will realise that his impulsive actions can have serious consequences.

Not that his father ever did!

Luckily, I am finding some consolation in the leftover Rum Balls from the party. I was quite surprised that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for Christmas Rum Balls and there were quite a few left over, which have been very therapeutic. To the point that I’ve been really quite concerned whenever I’ve passed those over-zealous RBTs this week, that I may actually be over the alcohol limit and the first person to lose their license for quaffing too much chocolate.

Rum Balls
Rum Balls (Photo credit: Kristin Brenemen)

NB’s Punch went down surprisingly well though and I think it was a wise decision to make it non-alcoholic with all those sixteen year olds wandering around with their tongues hanging out, desperately seeking the thrill of illicit alcohol. It seemed funny at the time to surreptitiously add the gin to the glasses of the people we don’t really like, especially our neighbours who own the yapper mutts from hell next door.

A few notes-to-self for next year’s party in terms of organisation, though:

Try not to forget about the plates of carefully prepared canapés that tend to remain in the fridge after the first few glasses of wine.

No matter how intricate the canapés are, (and by ‘intricate’ I mean they have sundried tomato, a bell pepper or a fresh herb on them), all anyone is really interested in vacuuming down their throats after a few drinks are the (100 for $5) party pies and spring rolls.

Teenagers bring very little alcohol to the party, but consume vats.

Buying enough bread to feed the five thousand when you have thirty to forty guests is a mistake.

Do not start drinking before your guests arrive.

Check all the bulging, jangling, suspicious-looking rucksacks of invited teenagers and question why they need rucksacks for an afternoon party anyway.

Evaluate the old man’s ‘pissed-ometer’ level every hour, on the hour, before you introduce him to new friends you are keen to build long-term relationships with.

Do not think that you can eat as much finger food as possible because it is only the size of a finger, (and therefore a clever/evil misrepresentation of the actual calories consumed when you eat twenty of them).

Check where the Princess Spoodle is at all times, particularly if she is anywhere in the vicinity of crazed son and friends.