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Come Party With Me: Luau Dinner For 8 - Drinks

At all of my dinner parties, I offer guests one signature cocktail with appetizers, followed by a couple bottles of wine with dinner. I am a fan of a full open bar and pleasing my friends with whatever drink floats their fancy, but I do this when a small group is coming over for drinks only. At a dinner party, there are other things to worry about - the food, the mingling of new friends with old, etc. - so it's easier to make one big cocktail that fits the theme. Don't make an endless amount, a few pitchers full is sufficient. For this week's tropical themed dinner party, a colorful rum punch is ideal. Fresh raspberries give it a festive look and lime slices act as garnish. Sparkling and still water refreshes guests, and a mixture of fresh lemonade and pineapple juice is refreshing for those who do not consume alcohol. With the mahi mahi main course pour California Chardonnay or an Australian Riesling. If you must have red wine, serve a light bodied Beaujolais. For the raspberry rum punch recipe as pictured at left

Raspberry Rum Punch
From Instyle magazine

1 pint raspberries (or 1 pint frozen raspberries)
1 cup simple syrup
4 cups club soda
4 cups dark rum
4 cups fresh lime juice
2/3 cup superfine sugar
raspberries, lime wedges, optional for garnish

  1. In a punch bowl crush the raspberries and simple syrup.
  2. Add the club soda, rum, lime juice, and sugar.
  3. Ladle into ice-filled glasses; garnish with the raspberries and lime slices.
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