punched {life}


I know I go on ad infinitum about my headaches, and I promise not to do that here. Not really. But if my US friends have seen that commercial where the woman keeps saying "My asthma's not that bad..." and her family and friends say things like, "You never play with me." and "You keep missing work," I have to tell you: I can relate.

I'd bumped back on a medication I take everyday to prevent migraine, and I'd thought it was no big deal to go from two doses to one. Until last week when I realized, "I'm having a lot of headaches." So I'm bumping back up. Heaves sigh.

That's not what this post is about. Not really. But because I'm frequently fighting a headache or simply feeling tender about getting one, I'm a non-frequent attender to cocktail hour around our parts. Huge bummer. And yet, just because I'm not partaking in the cocktail part of cocktail hour, doesn't mean that I don't want to feel celebratory or special. So for awhile now I've been thinking about creating some sort of non-alcoholic punch that we could pull out for me (and Cal) to enjoy when a gin and tonic just won't work.

As you can see from above, I started with a super-easy blueberry simple syrup. I've been playing with simple syrups for nearly a year now (my friend Marianne and I are regularly exchanging ideas for concoctions), and this is about as basic as you can get. Mash a handful of blueberries and combine with equal parts water and sugar (I used a 1 cup to 1 cup ratio). Boil until the sugar dissolves, and it'll turn this lovely blue color! Let it cool and you're ready for the next part. It'll keep for a couple weeks in the fridge.


Using the Blueberry Simple Syrup as a base, I created two different punches, just to see if there was one I liked better than the other. Here we have a Blueberry-Grapefruit Fizz


And this is a Blueberry Pomegranate Soda.


Truthfully, as far as liking them goes, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other, I guess. Depends on your mood. I like the tartness of the Grapefruit Fizz, but Neel can't have grapefruit, so that may not go into regular rotation here. The Pomegranate Soda is definitely tasty, but I don't love that muddled color that some pom sodas can have (This was pom mango, which I used because I wanted a little more depth than simple pomegranate juice, and that may have impacted the color a bit.)

All in all, either punch met my needs. Easy to make, easy to keep on hand and properly fun.

Here are the recipes.

Blueberry-Grapefruit Fizz

3 Tablespoons blueberry simple syrup
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
club soda

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and add simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with blueberries and enjoy!

Blueberry-Pom Soda

2 Tablespoons blueberry simple syrup
1/4 cup pomegranate juice (I used pom-mango)
club soda

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice and add simple syrup and pomegranate juice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with blueberries and enjoy.

For now, I've mixed a batch of syrup (good on pancakes and waffles too) and juice to keep in the fridge, so all I have to do is add the club soda, and I'm good to go. And while the whole point of this exercise is to give me a treat when I'm not partaking in cocktails, let's face it: I don't feel bad all the time. It's easy enough to add a splash (or a few) of vodka, and then you'll have a proper party. I'm thinking pineapple juice next. How about it?