You’ll be the toast of the town with this gorgeous Pomegranate Champagne Punch, which friend and frequent New York Times contributor Melissa Clark developed for us at Bon Appétit several years ago. I’ve served it every year since at our annual holiday party and it is hands down the most requested recipe in my arsenal. You can play around with the proportions—I like to scale back on the simple syrup by about half—and add more or less white rum and pomegranate juice to taste. The recipe calls for Champagne, but I use Cristalino Brut Cava, a perfect dry sparkler with bright citrus notes that complement the lemon slices in the punch. It’s a bargain at around $7 a bottle. I also like to make a rather splashy ice block by filling a Bundt pan with water and sprinkling in pomegranate seeds, and then freezing overnight. It looks beautiful in the bowl—and as it melts, it disperses more pomegranate seeds into the punch. You could add whatever you want though—lemon slices, fresh mint leaves, etc. Cheers!
Melissa Clark’s Pomegranate-Champagne Punch
Adapted from a recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2007
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne or cava
1 1/2 cups white rum
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
1 ice block
Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely. Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste. (I like to add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup simple syrup.) Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Add ice block to bowl.
To make ice block: Fill a Bundt pan with water. Sprinkle in pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Freeze overnight. Let defrost just long enough to loosen the ice from its mold.