It’s the season, y’all. Blood oranges are here and this is wonderful way to glorify their season from December through May. I’m mad about blood oranges. I use them in cakes, rice pudding and cocktails. The juice is gorgeous, light and sweet in salad dressings and marinades and cooks down to a thick, ambrosial syrup. Oranges were always a staple in our house while growing up, as were apples. Those two fruits were my mother’s answer to any hungry child. And we were aways hungry. At my best friend, Dana’s, house, a snack consisted of a warm and crunchy grilled cheese sandwich with a tall, frosty glass of iced tea on the side to wash it down. Heaven! But not in our house. No. In our house my mother’s idea of a snack consisted of an apple, orange or grapefruit with a tall, tepid glass of tap water to wash it all down. You can peel and section it yourself, too.I know I paint a pretty grim picture… food could not play a large part of family life as it was never a big deal to my parents. There was no baking during holidays nor did my mother cook for any of her parties. I don’t think my mother EVER baked a cookie. Or a cake. Pies were different. Every once in a blue moon, and I mean a seriously cobalt moon, Mama would bake a frozen apple pie and we would each be served a narrow, scrawny slice. The four of us made our dessert last as long as possible, savoring every teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy bite. But back to this lovely drink. It’s deceivingly delightful and refreshing. It CAN pack a wallop. More or less rum may be used than the recipe calls for, the only stipulation being, please use a good, sipping rum. I use either a sparkling rose or a sparkling white wine. If it’s an emergency a sparkling red can be used but it IS kinda heavy. The punch may be served in a formal punch bowl, rocks glasses, champagne flutes or red solo cups, it know no bounds. Crisp, bubbly with the merest hint of sweetness, this mixed drink knows how to roll with it. A pitcher or jug may be filled right before serving or each drink may be assembled individually as there are only three ingredients involved. I’m a huge fan of punch, whether for a black-tie affair or a football tail-gate party and this drink will not let you down. Cheers!
Blood Orange Rum Punch
- 1 750-ml bottle sparkling rose or crisp white wine, well chilled
- 3 cups blood orange juice, about 13-14 oranges
- 1 cup clear or golden sipping rum
- sprigs of rosemary for garnish, optional
- Mix wine, juice and rum in a pitcher.
- Pour over ice and garnish each glass with a sprig of rosemary.