How to Make an Ice Ring for a Punch Bowl
I’m not sure how or where I learned how to make an ice ring for a punch bowl. It’s just something that I know how to do. And, since it seems like something a good host or hostess should have in their entertaining bag of tricks, I’m sharing the how-to with you. Ridiculously simple to do yet something that always gets remarks at a party. (“How did you make that???” It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit all I did was freeze water. It makes me wish it really was a little more difficult to do.) But, most importantly, it solves the problem of keeping a punch cold without using ice cubes, which melt more quickly than an ice ring and dilute your punch somewhat.
When I make an ice ring, I most frequently use my Bundt pan. But any mold, preferably with a hole in the middle, will work. I start by putting just a little water in the bottom of the pan and then lining the ring with whatever fruit or garnish I’m using. You can use anything for the garnish keeping in mind that, as the ice melts, the garnish may/will end up floating in your punch. Also, make sure that the garnish freezes well and won’t turn brown when wet or frozen. I have used all different kinds of sliced citrus, berries and even holly.
Put the pan in the freezer until the water freezes. Then add another layer of cold water, keeping in mind that the fuller the pan, the larger the ice ring will be. Return the pan to the freezer and freeze until solid, several hours or overnight. There is a reason for doing this in layers. Because the fruit/garnish floats, by freezing it first in a shallow layer, it will remain on top of the ice ring, instead of floating to the what will become the bottom of the ice ring in your punch bowl.
To remove the ice ring from the pan, simply run warm water over the bottom of the pan until the ice ring releases. Merry Christmas!!