Start a New Tradition with a Thanksgiving Punch
Whether it’s sharing a special meal, the delicious pumpkin pie, or the excitement that comes from being around your loved ones, there’s so much to be thankful for during the holidays.
This year, why not start a new Thanksgiving tradition that you and your loved ones will look forward to year after year by making this Thanksgiving punch recipe? They say we eat with our eyes first and if that’s true, we most certainly drink with our eyes first also. This brightly colorful punch is not only festive looking, it tastes delicious and is a breeze to make.
Apple Cider Cranberry Punch
2 quarts apple cider, chilled
1 quart cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
One 12-oz. container frozen orange juice concentrate
One 2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
2 cups frozen cranberries
Mix all of the ingredients except the frozen cranberries in an eight-quart container and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, pour the punch into a punch bowl and add the frozen cranberries for garnish. This recipe doesn’t call for alcohol but you can always serve with a bottle of champagne for guests to add a sparkling finishing touch.
Set the Mood
Thoughtfully decorating the area around the punchbowl sends the message that this drink – and each guest – is special. A washable tablecloth is key to protect the table from spills, and a Thanksgiving table runner adds a festive feel to the setting.
Consider placing a gratitude tree near the punch bowl. A gratitude tree is a usually a small tabletop tree that doesn’t have any leaves. Cut colorful leaves out of construction paper, punch a hole in the stem of each leaf and tie a string through the holes so that the leaves become ornaments for the tree. Place the leaves and a pen beside the tree. Ask each person to write the date and something that they’re thankful for on a leaf. Then hang the leaves on the tree. Guests will enjoy standing around the punch bowl, reading everyone’s leaves. After Thanksgiving, place the leaves in a sealed plastic bag or container and add them to the tree the following year. Each year the tree will grow more leaves of thanks.
Hanging decorative lights from the ceiling above the punch bowl sends a message that this is a magical occasion, and adding some sparkly faux pumpkins is a great reminder of the harvest season. Including some well-placed candles, or faux candles if little ones are running around, further contributes to the magic of the evening.
Initiate a Toast
If your loved ones share the same last name, consider serving the punch in monogrammed glasses for an extra special touch. During the evening ask everyone to take a glass of punch and then initiate a toast, or ask everyone to share a special memory they have together.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Pictures often help us remember those little details we might otherwise forget. During the evening make sure to take pictures of everyone. If you have a camera with a timer, take a group picture with everyone standing around the Gratitude Tree and punch. Be sure to share copies with your guests. Frame your copy and display it next Thanksgiving for everyone to commemorate this special occasion.
Send Them Home with a Gift
One last way to memorialize your new Thanksgiving punch tradition is to send everyone home with a monogrammed glass. Tie the punch recipe and a personalized note to the mug handles and give each person their mug at the end of the evening. Every time they look at the mug displaying their initials they are sure to remember not only the punch, but also your thoughtfulness and this very special Thanksgiving.