I am the punch master!
Growing up, I always looked forward to Grandma’s punch, served only at special occasions. It was cranberry-licious and very refreshing. There was a frozen lemonade ring that kept the punch chilled without watering it down. We, the grandkids, enjoyed dipping the ladle in the center of the ring and bathing the icy lemonade with cranberry goodness.
As an adult, I am the punch master of the family and host the majority of the holidays in my home. Every Christmas, I make sure to freeze two lemonade rings in anticipation of the guests’ descent upon the tasty drink. So you see, I am no stranger to freezing lemonade for use as ice that will preserve the integrity of the beverage.
When preparing to host a backyard barbecue for approximately fifty guests, I found myself in a predicament.
My trusty lemonade ring was too big!
I had decided to serve lemonade as one of the beverage choices, and planned to utilize a three-gallon drink dispenser. My problem was that the lemonade ring would not fit inside the opening of the dispenser.
Regular ice cube trays would produce frozen lemonade pieces that would melt too quickly. I did not want to tend to the drink dispenser throughout the event. I wanted frozen pieces large enough to last, but small enough to fit into the opening.
After some experimentation, the girl and I chose muffin tins as the ice trays. We filled the trays with lemonade and topped each opening with a freshly sliced lemon.
Since muffin tins were not designed to flex in the manner ice cube trays do, we ran the frozen tins under warm water, allowing the lemonade pieces to fall into a strainer in the sink. We added them to the dispenser prior to the lemonade, to limit sticky splashes, and complemented the mix with 4 additional sliced lemons.
The result was a visually pleasing display that provided chilled lemonade throughout our barbecue.
Share your beverage ideas in the comment section below.
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Get yourself a beverage dispenser before hosting your next gathering.