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Spring is on the way, and that means its time to start planning wedding and baby showers. One of the best parts about a shower is the punch. But punch doesn’t have to be all sprite and sherbet, punch can be whimsical, sophisticated, delicious, and good fun. Here are four recipes for a punch that is all of those things and more.
Lavender punch doesn’t just refer to the color, it refers to the ingredients. While lavender doesn’t bloom until summer, you can buy lavender at your local health food market. Also, consider freezing violets in ice cubes as a lovely way to keep the punch cool. Ask your local florist for help locating some, or pick some from your neighbor’s yard that is teeming with them (ask first!). Just remember, to wash your violets before freezing.
How to Make Lavender Punch
1. Lavender Lemonade Punch This punch is perfect for a baby shower. Fill a bunt pan half full of water and freeze. Use it as a stylish ice ring that will look gorgeous floating in your punch bowl. This recipe makes enough for 12 servings, or two two-quart pitchers.
Place lavender in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Then strain out the lavender. Mix the sugar in with the lavender mixture and stir until dissolved. Mix in a gallon pitcher with the ice, stirring in the frozen limeade. Top off with cold water. Taste and adjust with more sugar to taste. You can serve this right away, pouring it into glass pitchers or a punch bowl. But we think it taste better if it is allowed to sit it the fridge over night.
2. Strawberry Lavender Punch We have it on good authority that this punch tastes great with vodka. But if you are serving it at a baby shower, it might be better to forgo the booze. The pink color of this punch is lovely and a perfect complement to any shower. This also serves 12.
In a saucepan, blend 5 cups of the water, 3 cups of the sugar, and the strawberries. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in lavender flowers. Cover and cool. Once cooled, stir the liquid into a gallon pitcher, two two-quart pitchers, or a punch bowl. Press the strawberries with a spatula to release color and flavor. Add remaining water and lemon juice. Cover and let it refrigerate until completely cool.
3. Lavender Libation Celebration This one is one of our favorites. It is a sophisticated take on lavender and white wine. The best part is, it costs less to make than mimosas, and you can use your favorite inexpensive white wine. Ours is Double Dog Dare. You can always find it for under $5 a bottle. This recipe does require advanced planning.
Steep lavender in white wine for 24 hours in the refrigerator. We prefer to do this by opening the bottle. Pouring the flowers in. Recorking and letting it sit. Once the lavender is done steeping, make a syrup by heating the sugar in a pot with 6 Tablespoons of water for ten minutes. When done. Mix with the wine in a pitcher or punch bowl, stirring in the brandy. Celebrate!
4. Lavender Limeade Punch This is our mom’s own special lavender limeade. It has a refreshing, sparkly taste that everyone will love. Make a lot! It goes fast.
In a quart saucepan combine 2 cups water, sugar, lavender and lime zest. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves, Remove pan from heat and let syrup stand 10 min. Strain and discard lavender. In a large pitcher, stir together remaining 4 cups water, syrup and lime juice, Serve over ice adding lime slices if desired. Add in the soda and enjoy!