Super Bowl Sunday 2014 is almost here, and although it promises to be cold weather outside, I’m including a few of my favorite alcoholic punch recipes for the inside gang. Great for a big crowd with a pitcher on the counter. Also, ham and biscuits as a simple buffet main item are ideal. Add a fruit and veggie tray, and you’ve got yourself a party. These come from my new book, “12 Happy Hours,” only I’m choosing to rename them in honor of the event.
Unless it’s changed because of the weather, the contest for the Vince Lombardi Trophy takes place with a kickoff time set for 5:30 p.m. CST on Sunday, Feb. 2, with Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos facing off at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Super Bowl game will air on CBS in the United States.
Huddle-Up Punch (Jane and Jerry’s Gin Punch)
Most punches are rum-based, with brandy or whiskey added. Being a gin lover at heart, I wanted to include a gin punch. “Professor” Jerry Thomas, the father of the American cocktail, included a few gin punch recipes in his 1862 book. This is my variation on one of them.
1 750 ml bottle of gin
4 ounces raspberry liqueur
12 ounces pineapple juice
6 ounces lemon juice
2 lemons, sliced
2 limes, sliced
2 oranges, sliced
1/2 pineapple cut into chunks
1 pint raspberries
1 liter club soda
Combine all ingredients but club soda in a container and refrigerate until cold. Just before serving, add club soda and a decorative ice block.
New Jersey is Freakishly Cold Punch (Martha Washington’s Rum Punch)
This recipe supposedly comes from the First Lady’s personal notes. Whether that’s truth or urban myth doesn’t matter. This traditional planter’s punch features the typical sour, sweet, strong and weak (citrus, sugar, spirits, water).
4 ounces lemon juice
4 ounces orange juice
4 ounces simple syrup
3 lemons quartered
1 orange quartered
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks broken
12 ounces boiling water
In a large bowl, mash lemons, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add syrup, lemon and orange juices. Pour boiling water over the mixture. Let cool. Strain out solids. Heat juice mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. In a punch bowl, combine:
3 parts juice mixture
1 part light rum
1 part dark rum
1/2 part orange curaçao or triple sec
Serve punch over ice. Top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
Seattle Pork Way of Virginia
1 1/2 pounds Virginia ham (buy thick sliced at the deli or go whole hog and cook yourself a Virginia ham for a true adventure)
Cut apart biscuits and place a few slices of ham on each. Serve with assorted mustards.
Feel free to use your own recipe, or in a pinch, get the premade biscuits in a can from the grocery store, but try the following for easy Southern-style biscuits.
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup shortening, chilled
2/3 to 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray. Cut shortening into flour using a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs are the size of peas. Blend in just enough milk with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead gently 2 to 3 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut using floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet, or almost touching for soft sides. Brush melted butter over tops of biscuits. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.