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Punch up the new year

Published: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 8:20 p.m. CDT

Well, here we are at the end of the year, and what a wonderful year it has been. Yes, we’ve all had many difficulties to bear throughout the past 12 months, but certainly the positive things occurring in our lives outweigh the negative.

With New Year’s Eve coming this week, party beverages are most popular. In decades past alcoholic beverages were the king of the evening. However, as the years have gone by our society has had a growing awareness of the dangers that overindulgence with spirits can have. Thus we look for tasty, satisfying alternatives.

On a regular basis I like to drink iced tea, occasionally I will have a regular (nondiet) soda. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I will have 7UP with a squeeze of lime. This is quite a refreshing and bright alternative. However, when serving at a party, we might want a big bowl of punch.

There are lots of families who have their favorite recipes for punch. Sometimes a certain holiday would not be complete without having that traditional beverage. Perhaps the following recipe will make its way into some of my readers’ families on a regular basis.

Give this recipe a try, if you think it might be too sweet for your taste, cut down the sugar from 3 cups to just 1 cup.

White Cloud Punch 

Yield: About 2 gallons

3 cups strong tea, hot

3 cups sugar

3 cups orange juice

1 cup lemon juice

2 cups pineapple juice

1 quart club soda, cold

2 quarts ginger ale, cold

2 quarts ice cream, partially thawed

Add hot tea to sugar, stir to dissolve, then add orange juice, lemon juice and pineapple juice. This can be premixed and chilled. At party time, pour into punch bowl and add club soda, ginger ale and ice cream. Provide a ladle for your guests to to fill their cups.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year celebration!

Look for Chef Darrel’s blog on the website of our sister paper, Daily-Chronicle.com. Anyone with questions or comments for Chef Darrel is welcome to call him at 630-235-0672.

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