Graduations and other summer celebrations call for gatherings of family and friends and if you’re the host or hostess, you want to make sure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Cocktails can help add to the occasion but you don’t need to add alcohol to the mix to create a festive ambiance. Here are some ideas for spectacular non-alcoholic punches and drinks.
Golden Citrus Pineapple Punch
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 (46 fluid ounce) can sweetened pineapple juice
1 3/4 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
1 gallon water
- In a 2 gallon punch bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, pineapple juice, lemon juice and sugar.
- Stir in water.
- Makes about 40 servings
Basil Lemon Spritzer
2 tablespoons basil lemon syrup (see below)
Sprig of basil to garnish
- Pour syrup into an ice-filled tall glass.
- Top off with sparkling water.
- Stir, then garnish with a basil sprig.
- Makes one glass.
Basil Lemon Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
- Bring sugar, zest, juice, and water to a boil.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let syrup stand, uncovered, 15 minutes.
- Discard zest and transfer syrup to a blender.
- Add basil and blend 20 seconds.
- Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl or glass measuring cup, then cool.
- This will make enough syrup for several glasses.
1/2 lb strawberries (1 1/2 cups), trimmed and halved
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups cold water
- Purée strawberries with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove seeds.
- Stir together strawberry purée, remaining lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and water in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved.
- Serve over ice.
- Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
- Add fresh sliced jalapenos for a little spice and a nice finishing touch!