Dinner Party with Southern Comfort Punch

I love to host dinner parties.  But, when I first started hosting dinner parties, I was much more intent on making it “fancy,” which created lots of stress.  Focused on making things perfect, I was not in the moment and with my guests rather fixated on all the things to do.  My dinner parties have evolved to still be nice but more a funky, fun elegance where it doesn’t need to be so perfect and everyone (especially moi) feels much more at ease.

Now, for this party, I had an upscale barbecue food them. To accompany my food – macaroni and cheese, vegetable kabobs and marinated grilled chicken (using bottled Italian dressing), we had some classic Southern Comfort punch.  My in-laws who have been married now for over 55 years used to make this gem back when they had dinner parties.  My wonderful mother-in-law Jo Ann faxed me her handwritten recipe she got from a friend nearly a decade ago, and, I still had not attempted it.

Much to my surprise, this must have been a widely known recipe as even Martha Stewart’s version was essentially the same.  And, after reading Martha Stewart’s version, I went with hers as it seems a little less lemony (with extra frozen lemonade and less straight lemon juice) and had frozen fruit slices to keep chilled which I thought was really “cool.”

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Here’s the recipe I used and credit to Martha Stewart.

SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 lemons
  • 4 navel oranges
  • 2 six-ounce frozen lemonade, concentrate
  • 1 six-ounce frozen orange juice, concentrate
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda
  • 1 liter Southern Comfort

DIRECTIONS

1. Line two baking sheets with plastic wrap, and set aside. Slice lemons into rounds as thin as possible. Arrange lemon slices in layers on one prepared baking sheet. Repeat with oranges; layer on second baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until fruit slices are frozen.

2. Just before serving, open the cans of frozen lemonade and orange juice, and place the frozen concentrates, whole, in a large punch bowl. Add the soda, Southern Comfort, and several handfuls of ice. Remove frozen fruit slices from freezer, and arrange over the top of punch. Serve immediately.

 Here’s some other photos of the set-up.  It really came together well.
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