I'm a sucker for a nice punch, especially around the holidays, and I've just stumbled across a great recipe that could get you out of a pinch. This Brandy Apple Punch can be ready in just over an hour if you're facing down a last-minute gathering or what have you. It contains apples, cranberries, a bit of brown sugar and - you guessed it - brandy. Sounds like a great drink for Thanksgiving, especially considering how likely it will be you'll have many of these ingredients already on hand.
Brandy-Apple Punch Recipe
Total: 15 mins, plus 1 hr chilling time
Makes: 18 to 24 servings
1 cup cranberries (about 4 ounces), thawed if frozen
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 cups apple cider or freshly pressed apple juice
3 cups brandy
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 15 lemons)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced, for garnish
1. Place cranberries, 1/4 cup of the water, and the brown sugar in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until the cranberries are completely smashed and the brown sugar has dissolved slightly.
2. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups water, apple cider or juice, brandy, lemon juice, and maple syrup and stir vigorously until well combined and the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the mixture through a strainer set over a 10-cup pitcher and discard the solids left in the strainer. Chill for at least 1 hour, or until cold.
3. If desired, transfer the mixture to a punch bowl and top with apple slices. To serve, pour 3 ounces of the punch into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a thin slice of apple.