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How To Make An Awesome Last-Minute Punch Bowl For NYE

Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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Whether you're gathering friends at your place to toast the arrival of 2015, or just looking for a slick way to pre-game before hitting some of the city's best parties, a festive bowl of punch is an ideal way to entertain. Think of it like jungle juice for adults, with a just a touch of refinement and a bit of ingredient editing.

We used some L.A. goodies (craft distilled vodka from the new Arts District distiller Loft & Bear, Miracle Mile Orange Bitters, and pomegranate juice from POM Wonderful) to make a simple recipe that you can easily riff on at home with plenty of time to spare.

If you'd like to swap in some champagne to float on top of the punchbowl, go for it. We kept this cocktail a bit lighter on the booze since there's a long night ahead of us.

And don't fret if you don't have a punchbowl; we used a large trifle dish, but you can also use a large glass mixing bowl, or any other vessel that's big enough to hold your hooch plus some ice and citrus.

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The greatest part of punch bowls is that you don't have to spend all night mixing cocktails, and can enjoy the company of your guests rather than playing bartender. Plus they're super malleable, so if you don't have some of the L.A.-produced ingredients, you can feel free to play around and personalize using your favorite spirits, juices, and accoutrement.

Here's how it's done:

NYE Pomegranate Punch

Serves 4

1 cup vodka (we used local distiller Loft & Bear)
4 shakes orange bitters (we used Miracle Mile Orange Bitters)
2 cups pomegranate juice (we used local pomegranate producer POM Wonderful)
2 cups sparkling apple cider
5-7 citrus wheels for garnish (we used a few slices each of clementines, lemon, and oranges from a neighbor's tree)

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Add the first three ingredients plus the citrus wheels to a large mixing bowl and stir. Chill until you're ready for your company, then add to a punch bowl along with some ice, then float with the sparkling cider or champagne, if you choose. Serve using a ladle, and put them in mason jars or tumblers. And most importantly, have a happy new year!