Champagne Punch: Chunky, Fruit-Filled Kool-Aid for Grownups
Before summertime comes to an end and the fruits of the season shrivel into luscious memory, satisfy your stone fruit desires one last time with a light yet potent champagne punch.
Kevin Littlefield/Flickr Light yet potent.
Raid your local farmers' market for the juiciest plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and peaches. Pit, hull, and slice them into manageable chunks of edibleness and place them in a big punch bowl, throw in a few orange and grapefruit sections, a sliced lime or lemon, a long spiraled cucumber peel -- whatever strikes your fancy -- and add 4 ounces of brandy, 4 ounces of orange liqueur (Cointreau, curaçao or Grand Marnier), and 4 ounces of Benedictine for a hint of herbal sweetness. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator for half an hour, then add a block of ice (make your own by sticking a bowl of water in the freezer the night before) and pour in a bottle of chilled champagne and 6 ounces of soda water.
You can substitute a bottle of Sauternes or a nice, slightly sweet German white for the bubbly. Whatever you use, the refreshing result will tide you over until Glühwein season.