The Best Type Of Ice To Add To Your Punch Bowl

Few things refresh a summertime party like a bowl of cool punch. And even fewer things disappoint quite like a bowl of tepid punch that has been watered down. The issue is that if you use regular ice cubes to chill your punch, you are likely to end up with this watery, lukewarm swill.

Using ice and getting a watery drink can be a necessary compromise. Tec-Science explains that drinks cool because it supplies heat to melt the ice. Ice cubes don't actively cool drinks, but absorb heat.

So, as The Kitchn writes, small ice cubes are good to use in a glass of water, but are not effective in larger containers like punch bowls. They melt too quickly, meaning that the punch will not have its heat diverted to the ice for nearly long enough. To keep your punch bowl cool, you need chunks of ice in large enough sizes to prolong the melting process.

An ice ring can add even more flavor

While you could simply plop massive ice cubes into your punch, people have been using a method that both keeps the punch cool for longer and avoids the watering down of flavor that results from melted ice.

At its basis, the ice ring is what it sounds like: a ring of ice. However, The Spruce Eats suggests that you should mix in fruit juice with the water so that when the ring melts, the flavor of the punch won't become as watered down. Epicurious cautions that three quarters of the liquid should be water to ensure the resulting ice ring will last the party. Additionally, you can freeze various fruits within the ice ring. These will influence the flavor of the punch slightly, but their purpose is primarily aesthetic.

To actually make the ice ring, grab a mold (a bundt pan will do), fill the mold with the fruits and liquids you desire, and freeze the mold. Then, when serving the punch, put the ring at the bottom of the bowl and pour the refrigerated punch over it. To get the ice ring out of the mold, run hot water over it for a couple of seconds. Alternatively, Epicurious says you can place the mold in a bowl of hot water which will heat the ring enough for it to fall out when you flip it onto a plate.