Everyone loves this refreshing fiesta punch and party pleaser! It’s versatile and easy to make and lends itself to many presentations. Serve from a glass pitcher or punch bowl with sprigs of fresh mint and lemon-scented herbs and purple pansies or other edible flowers. Spike it with tequila, rum or vodka, if you wish. For a fabulous brunch drink for garden parties, showers, or weddings, serve this pretty punch in champagne flutes spritzed with Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava, or champagne and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint or lemon balm and a purple pansy. Move over Mimosas!
2 large bunches lemon balm and lemon verbena (add lots of sprigs of crushed lemon thyme, lemon basil, or lemon grass, too)
2 large bunches spearmint or a combination of mild flavored mints
2 large cans (46 ounces each) unsweetened pineapple juice
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 3 limes
3 cups fresh pineapple, bite-sized chunks (optional)
3 lemons, cut into round slices
2–3 limes, cut into round slices
Your favorite bubbly ( spicy ginger brew like Maine Root or Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew), Squirt (or your favorite grapefruit soda), or other artisan sodas or Prosecco or Cava)
Additional sprigs lemon balm and/or mint
Purple pansies or johnny-jump-ups
Tie up herb bouquets with kitchen twine. Gently bruise the fragrant herbs to release their flavor. Place them in a large jar, and cover with the pineapple chunks and juice, citrus juices and lemon slices. Chill overnight, stirring occasionally and pressing down on herbs with back of a wooden spoon. Prior to serving, remove the herbs (they will have discolored) and replace with fresh herb sprigs. Add lime slices and a generous splash of your favorite bubbly to the punch, and some pretty purple pansies or johnny-jump-ups (violas). Pour into glasses and garnish with sprigs of fresh lemon balm or mint.
Add lemon grass, fresh pineapple chunks, and spicy Jamaican ginger brew (from specialty grocery stores) to the original recipe. Discard the tough outer leaves from 4 stalks of lemon grass and bruise the stalks with the back of a knife. Cut stalks into 2-inch segments and add them to the punch the day before serving. Long lemon grass stalks also make good “stirrers” for the punch.
Use limeade, lemonade, apple juice, or exotic tropical fruit juice (or any combination of juices) in place of the pineapple juice. Add fresh lime juice to enhance flavors.