The Frugal Foodie: Sparkle Plenty Punch

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Photography by Howard Lee Puckett; Styling by Virginia Cravens-Houston and Judy Feagin

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Serves 12

Serve this refreshing punch in place of wine or cocktails at your ladies’ lunch.

• 2-liter bottle club soda, chilled
• 2 cups iced herbal tea (see guide below), chilled
• 2 cups fruit juice (see guide), chilled
• ¼ cup Simple Seed Syrup (see recipe below)
• Ice cubes with mint leaves
• Fresh cherries and mint sprigs, for garnish

1. Assemble all ingredients in a large bowl. Ladle into ice-filled glasses.

Simple Seed Syrup

Makes 1⁄2 cup

• Seeds from 1 pint raspberries or blackberries OR 10 to 12 apricot kernels OR 1 cup cherry pits
• 1 strip lemon or orange peel, pith removed
• 3 cups water
• ½ cup sugar

1. Place seeds, pits or kernels in a medium saucepan with peel and water, and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to ½ cup of liquid, about 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Strain the seeds, pits or kernels from the water and discard; return the water to the pan.

3. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely.

Try This Tea With This Juice

• Try ginger tea with orange juice
• Try mint tea with grapefruit juice
• Try cinnamon tea with apple juice
• Try berry tea with pomegranate juice
• Try chamomile tea with pear nectar juice

Tip: Getting to the Kernel

Place apricot pits on a dish towel. Cover with another dish towel and smash them with a hammer, exposing the kernels inside. It’s easiest to do on the floor, outside on the sidewalk, or on a very hard cutting board—marble works well, if you have one.

Apricot kernels impart an almond-like perfume to apricot preserves, and also can be dried and ground and used as a spice in recipes. The flavor is quite strong, so go easy and taste as you go.

Lara Starr and Lynette Shirk’s book, The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook (Viva Editions), was released in September 2009. 

Click here for the main article,  The Frugal Foodie: 8 Recipes .