No, it’s not the pits! Alice from Imbibe Magazine UK was asking in Drinkboy’s Forum about interesting ways ice is used. In the past couple of years we’ve learned about the 1″ square Kold-Draft cubes, ice balls and various ways to make them, and ways to make homemade shot glasses made of ice. I sent her some images (and thought you’d like to see them too) of my ice punch bowls that will be in my next book, Knack Bartending Basics: More than 400 Classic and Contemporary Cocktails for Any Occasion.
I used tap water for the bowl of cherries punch bowl and patriotic punch (middle). To achieve crystal-clear ice seen in the garden party punch (3rd one), I boiled a large pot of water, allowed it to cool, brought it to a boil again, and then was ready.
The flowers were placed into the garden party bowl with the water, then frozen because they float. Because cherries sink, I first froze the cherry bowl then microwaved for 15 minutes. I added cherries then refroze the bowl. The strawberries on the patriotic bowl will stay only if toothpicks are frozen around the bowl to set them on.
Make the Bowl
You need a large plastic bowl and a smaller plastic bowl to nest inside. Also, it’s best to have a helper.
• Fill the large bowl half with water. More can be added later.
• Weight the smaller bowl inside the larger with a rock and wet kitchen towels.
• Tape to secure and freeze. When needed, thaw for 15 minutes, and the bowls will pop off.
The only real issue with an ice bowl is what to set it on to absorb or drain the water when it is on the punch table. The best solution I’ve found is diapers. Yes, I said diapers! The chemical inside diapers is sodium polyacrylate, and it’s very absorbent. Simply open a few diapers flat over and around a plate, then lay a fun piece of material over the diapers and set the ice bowl on the plate. Then you can decorate around the bowl.
Garden Party Punch
1 750-milliliter bottle St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1 750-milliliter bottle pear vodka
4 bottles brut Champagne
Yields 20–25 servings
Due to the high alcohol content, serve in small party cups or 4-6 ounce Champagne glasses.
1. Mix the liqueur and vodka together in a pitcher. Chill in the fridge. 2. When ready split the pitcher mixture into four equal parts. 3. Pour one of the parts into the ice bowl and top off with a chilled bottle of Champagne. 4. Replenish as needed using this ratio.