My parents threw a big party for their friends in July. I was near my parent’s house this summer. Therefore, I was able to fully participate in the party planning–a task I love! Out of all the things I helped with, the fresh juice punches I prepared were the item most loved and remembered by all. It figures, my husband and I spent 2 days making homemade chocolate truffles and no one gave them half the importance to them as they did the juices. Anyway, such is life :). These juices are so easy to make and give that wow factor to a gathering. Sure, we could have served soft drinks and so on but this little extra effort gives a party a different and personalized flair. Plus, the colors of the juices are so vibrant and cheery that they will put everyone in the mood to have a great time. This is a summertime drink, but in this November weather we all need a little reminder of summer.
Makes about 1 large pitcher (maybe a little more)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cup strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup peaches, chunked and peeled
1 cup mango, chunked and peeled
4 limes, juiced
2 lemons juiced
1 bottle sparkling water
2 cups Sprite or 7up
extra fruits and lemon/lime slices for garnish
mint leaves, for garnish
*Note: These fruits are at their peak in summer. Since they are no longer in season you may want to use frozen fruits and thaw them out. Or use what is fresh and in season.
Prepare a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium low heat. Cool in the refrigerator. Puree all the fruits separately in a blender. Strain out any seeds or chunked that were not properly blended. Take a big pitcher and add the fruit purees into the bottom and mix them with the simple syrup. Add the lemon and lime juices. Top off with one bottle of sparkling water and the Sprite or 7up. Add some ice cubes, if desired. Garnish with sliced lemons, limes, mint leaves, and whole berries or sliced fruits.
*A citrus blend can be made using the same method as above by adding in some fresh orange juice and combining it with lemon lime juice.
*Note: These photographs were not taken by me (as you can probably tell ;)). The first three were taken by the wonderful photographer at my parent’s party, Andre Blais. His website is here. The last one was taken by a friend, Geetika Bhandari. :)