This past weekend I found myself standing by the punch bowl at a neighbor's party. I didn't know too many folks there, so I found comfort in the shimmering peach-colored liquid. I knew it was a spiked punch, but it didn't taste too strong, so I downed more than a few glasses. A little bit later, and just a tad lot tipsy, I finally asked what was in the punch. My neighbor told me that it was his version of "Baptist Punch" and that it contained cranberry, pineapple, and orange juice. Knowing that all of those ingredients were not the ones that got me tipsy, I asked what else was in it and he said: Everclear.

Everclear is a type of grain alcohol that contains around 95 percent alcohol — most liquors contain around 40 percent — although it is sold in a 75.5 percent blend as well . . . I should also mention that the 95 percent mix is illegal to purchase in many US states, including here in California. It's also worth noting that Everclear is difficult to detect as it's relatively flavorless and doesn't smell very strong. My neighbor, who had it specially imported from another state, made sure to mention that Everclear's nondetectable characteristics was the other reason the concoction was called "Baptist Punch." This way no one knows that you've been drinking.

To get the recipe for both a nonalcoholic and alcoholic version of Baptist Punch,

Baptist Punch
From YumSugar's Neighbor
1 part cranberry juice
2 part orange juice
1 part pineapple juice
* Everclear

He wouldn't give me his exact measurements, but said "not to go crazy" with the Everclear. Or "go crazy" after all, it is the holiday season.

I might add that several folks enjoyed the punch without any alcohol added. They also thought it was delicious. Just don't get the batches mixed up!