Nothing says bienvenidos like a cup or glass of punch upon entering a party. Whether you are hosting your familia and amigos for New Year's Eve or El Dia de los Reyes, have a pitcher or bowl of punch or sangria on hand so that you can offer guests a bit of ready-made hospitality the moment they step through your door.
Many countries have their own traditional holiday drink: Christmas in Mexico would not be complete without Ponche Navideña, while in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands coquito is found at every celebration throughout the entire season. In Chile, the time-honored drink of the season is Cola de Mono, made with rum, milk, and coffee.
As wine lovers, we enjoy wine-based libations: they're more food-friendly (especially with savory tapas) than eggnog-style drinks, and are lower in alcohol than spirit-based punches. So grab a punch bowl (we love this one) and get mixing.
Bubbles are a sure-fire sign that we're about to have a good time, and punch made with bubbles is doubly festive. Prosecco is our drink of choice for many celebrations, and the addition of brandy and fruit, as in Lunetta Prosecco Punch, turns the Italian sparkler into fizzy, and delicious, white sangria.
This sangria is also made with sparkling wine, Rosa Regale, a slightly sweet rosé sparkler that is terrific on its own but great in mixed drinks. This recipe mixes orange juice, orange liqueur, honey, cinnamon, oranges, apples, and pears for a bright but seasonal cocktail.
A good way to bring some Mediterranean and Latin American flair to your sangria is with the addition of pomegranate juice and seeds, as in the Riunite Lambrusco Holiday Sangria. With all the stress and running around of the holiday season, everyone will appreciate the extra antioxidants that pomegranate brings to this seasonal (and festive!) treat.
Portugal is the home of some of the finest fortified wines in the world, Port and Madeira. Port is produced in the Douro Valley, while Madeira comes from the island of the same name. Both are made by adding neutral spirits (brandy) to wine while it is still fermenting, which serves to keep the sugar content elevated and also makes the alcohol level a little higher than still wine, at about 20 percent. Blandy’s ALVADA Hot Holiday Party Punch is another warming beverage that will be appreciated by those coming in from the cold as well as those who love the taste of the tropics that is created when orange and spice are blended together.
Fonseca BIN 27 Royal Punch crosses the Atlantic like the explorers of old, combining Fonseca Port with Appleton Rum, a mainstay of the Caribbean. As we gather with friends during the short days of winter, its rich color and zesty acidity will brighten even the longest nights of the year.