Roberta’s Summer Recipes: More punch

How are you doing, dear friends, still enjoying your staycation? My darling husband and me here in sunny Wales have really had the summer of our lives in our new home, and we’ve been trying out so many new things both outdoors and indoors; and one of our favourite new tools is – our punch bowl set. We’ve had another punch party for two recently, with a new recipe I created partly out of necessity and partly out of my lifelong love for two rather different fruits that go together very nicely, though: strawberries and bananas.

Initially I wanted to do a strawberry punch, which looks very stylish especially in a glass bowl, shiny red and clear – but I realized I couldn’t get any plain strawberry juice anywhere in town. So, I got one of those fashionable smoothie juice mixes, strawberry and banana, and decided to do a strawberry and banana punch instead; it’s a bit foggy compared to a plain strawberry one, but it tastes fantastic!

What you need is: 500ml strawberry and banana juice, 200ml gin, 700ml sparkling rose wine, 100ml red vermouth (or something similarly red and sweet, like Dubonnet), 300g strawberries and 2 bananas. Simply slice the bananas and cut the strawberries into small chunks, and put the bottles in the freezer for an hour or two so that they’re nice and chilly; you can add ice cubes as well if you like.

It’s great fun pouring the ingredients into the bowl – a whole bottle of champagne, glug-glug, just like that, imagine! I’m beginning to enjoy it even more than mixing cocktails…

To go with your punch, you can serve all sorts of sweet or savoury snacks; this time, I went for one of my childhood favourites from back in Bavaria: pretzels!

A tip, by the way, for getting the last fruit bits out of the glass: get some plastic picks to pick them up with, they’re not only practical but also a nice colourful addition to your party table.

And what music to put on for your summer party? Well, my earliest memories of punch parties go back to the 1970s, when my Mum used to create lovely punches either in summer or on New Year’s Eve, so I’m always in for some jolly, cheerful 1970s pop – like this, for example, from THE band of my childhood:

So, get your punch ready and have a great time, dear friends; summer won’t last forever!

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