Why My Grandmother Always Added Sherbet In Her Punch

And why you should too.

Growing up, we always knew it was going to be a special party when the Waterford crystal punch bowl came out of the dining room hutch. The bowl and matching cups would be cleaned and dried until they shined. Right before the first guests were due to arrive, the punch bowl would disappear into the kitchen and that's when the magic would happen. The punch bowl would reappear, filled with a gloriously technicolor sherbet punch that looked like a party in a bowl and tasted even better.

Orange Sherbet Punch
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ali Ramee, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

Just Combine Sherbet And Soda

Here's the secret, though: sherbet punch is the easiest punch in the world. Simply scoop out a carton of rainbow sherbet—while you may be tempted to dump the carton, scooping it bit by bit is important—into a punch bowl. Then pour over a two-liter bottle of soda. When the bubbles hit the sherbet, the combination fizzes up, melting and bubbling into a pastel-colored, sugary dream sure to add a bright splash of color to a party table. Garnish glasses with fresh fruit, if you like and, as kids these days would say, you'll have a totally Instagrammable punch.

Cran-Raspberry-Vanilla Punch
Alison Miksch

Play With Punch Ingredients

This show-stopping punch is not only easy, but easy to play around with, too. All it requires is rainbow sherbet—or fruit sorbet—and ginger ale or 7Up or Sprite or really any fruit soda or combination of soda, juice, or fruit punch. Feel free to experiment, as it's nearly impossible to go wrong when you're combining sherbet and soda. Once you've mastered rainbow sherbet's pastel punch, fiddle around with the recipe. Try lemon sorbet in Hawaiian Punch and club soda or rainbow sherbet and pink lemonade and club soda or raspberry sorbet with ginger ale. Or, if you know kids won't be tempted, throw in a few cups of champagne for an adorable adult beverage.

Here are more ingredients you can add to sherbet punch:

  • Fruit juices like pineapple juice or frozen orange juice concentrate
  • Sliced fruit like strawberries, oranges, or limes
  • Garnishes like raspberries, cherries, mint leaves, or mini marshmallows

Tailor Punch For Any Event

The cotton-candy-colored drink is perfect for baby showers or bridal parties or Valentine's Day shindigs. To tailor your punch for another holiday or event, think about using special ingredients like cranberry juice for Christmas or creepy candy for Halloween. Find ingredients that reflect school colors for the Friday night football game. But because it's so easy and so delicious there's no real reason to save sherbet punch for special occasions. Bring your rainbow sherbet punch to a Sunday supper or a church potluck and you'll have people gathered around the punch bowl in no time.

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