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.
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.
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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 and juice or fruit punch. Feel free to experiment, as it’s nearly impossible to go wrong when you’re combining sherbet and soda or juice. 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.
The cotton-candy colored drink is perfect for baby showers or bridal parties or Valentine’s Day shindigs, but because it’s so easy and so delicious there’s no real reason to save rainbow sherbet punch for special occasions. Bring it to a Sunday supper or a church potluck or a school picnic and you’ll have people gathered around the punch bowl in no time.