Make pomegranate sangria for your guests (photo © Pom Wonderful).
There’s nothing more festive than a holiday punch bowl.
Historically, Christmas meant gathering around the wassail bowl for good cheer. “Wassail” is Middle English contraction of the toast, wæs hæil, “be healthy.”
Medieval wassail was a mulled beer or mead, heated and topped with slices of toast (a.k.a. sops)—a piece of bread provided for nourishment (think of it as a precursor of crackers and cheese). Today, mulled cider is made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
You can fill your punch bowl with mulled cider, or go more modern with this pomegranate sangria recipe. You don’t need a punch bowl. A pitcher is fine.
If you want a mulled cider recipe, we’ve got some nifty choices (and history) for you as well.
P.S. December 20th is National Sangria Day. National Mulled Wine Day is March 3rd.
RECIPE: POMEGRANATE SANGRIA
Sangria is a type of punch. While “punch” evokes the image of a large bowl of drink, the word actually refers to the five ingredients in the original recipe.
While Americans often serve sangria from a pitcher, the Spanish way, feel free to fill up a punch bowl.
1. MAKE the ice block in advance. A large block melts much more slowly than cubes, keeps the punch colder for longer and reduces the dilution. Make it by filling a cake pan with water and freeze the night before. You can also fill a balloon with water; tie off the balloon and place it in a bowl in the freezer the night before.
2. MAKE the sangria. Remove the arils from the pomegranate (some stores sell arils already removed). Place all ingredients into a sangria pitcher. Refrigerate and let stand 2 hours before serving.
2. PLACE in a punch bowl; or for individual servings, pour sangria over a glass with ice cubes and top with a fruit garnish. Finish each serving with a splash of Cava Spanish sparkling brut.
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