At a recital, you'll need something to drink. Punch is the easiest choice (as opposed to individual bottles of water/juice/soda).
When it comes to recital punch, I recommend something just slightly tart to "cut" the sweetness of cookies, etc.
Here's my standard recipe for punch. It is popular with kids as well as adults, so I've stuck with it since . . . well, since forever! Below that is a recipe for Halloween recital punch. You will find many others in cookbooks and on recipe websites.
46-oz. can chilled apple juice (or approximate same amount of bottled)
46-oz. can chilled pineapple juice
1 1/2 c lemon juice (bottled is fine and probably better than fresh because it has less astringency)
1/2 c grenadine (this is non-alcoholic, but look for it in the liquor section of the grocery store)
6-8 qts. chilled ginger ale (not diet, which has a "funny" taste)
Place grenadine and lemon juice in the bottom of the punchbowl before the recital. When it's time to serve, pour in the chilled juice and top up with chilled ginger ale. About 1/4-way down the volume, top up again with ginger ale, as the first part of the bowl is pretty concentrated.
1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
4 "cans" of water (rinse each concentrate can)
1 2-lt. bottle orange soda, chilled
1 2-lt. bottle ginger ale, chilled
1/2 c 1:1 simple syrup
Place simple syrup in bottom of punch bowl before service. Put juices out to thaw 1 1/2 to 2 hours before service. Add all of orange soda and finish with whatever will fit of the ginger ale.
To make 1:1 simple syrup, put equal measures of water and sugar in a microwave-proof container and heat until sugar is dissolved. I know that liquid and solid volumes are different, but I just use a liquid measuring cup for both as it's close enough. Store syrup in a closed jar in the refrigerator. It keeps several months. (Great for making cocktails, too!)
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Use ice rings in the punch bowl. One large chunk of ice is better than ice cubes. Make them in advance, having at least two per bowl. That is, if you will serve one punchbowl full of punch, make two ice rings. If two punchbowlfuls, then four ice rings.
For Halloween, a chunk of dry ice is fun. Make sure an adult is supervising punch service so no one inhales the fumes.
copyright 2004, Martha Beth Lewis, Ph.D.
Contact me about reprint permission.