Tropical Punch

Today I’d like to share with a recipe that’s been a feature of Daddino family Christmases for decades:


1 lage watermelon
1 46-ounce can (about 6 cups) red Hawaiian fruit punch
1 6-ounce can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 6-ounce can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
6 cups cold water
1 1-pint 12-ounce bottle (3 1/2 cups) ginger ale, chilled

Stand watermelon on end; cut thin slice off bottom to make it level. Cut top third off melon. Using cup as guide, trace scallops around top outside edge of melon. Carve scalloped edge, following pattern. Scoop out fruit, serve later. Chill melon shell.

Combine Hawaiian fruit punch, fruit juice concentrates, and water. Pour ice in melon bowl. Resting bottle in rim of melon, carefully pour ginger ale down side; mix with up-and-down motion. Float orange and lime slices. Twine melon with ivy leaves, holding with toothpicks. Makes 30 to 35 servings.

In mid-sixties cookbook it comes from (it shall remain nameless because it’s by an enormous copyright-hungry American recipe cartel), it’s one of two recipes that have been flagged as being really good…the other being Lemon Mayonnaise. Which sounds ick. And even though I have fond recollections of it, the punch is probably ick, too, as it mixes juice, juice simulacra and soda in a carnaval of high-fructose corn syrupy goodness. But who are we, oh dezinens of 2004, to judge, seeing as people drink Snapple Juice Drinks willingly? And that there are recipes for similar punches all over the net using raspberry sherbert, and I hate sherbert. Further, equally upsetting revelation: on a trip to the e-fecking-normous chain supermarket yesterday, I noticed Minute Maid no longer comes in 6-oz. of juice concentrate, only 12-oz. cans (which is fine as the family’s doubling the recipe this year) and 1-pint 12-oz bottles of ginger ale have also gone the way of all flesh, replaced by larger (and smaller) sizes. The moral: Americans are PIGGIER than EVER.

Incidentally, we never made this punch with the melon (or the ivy). Melons really aren’t in season this time of year, and besides, hollowing one out for punch is a really thankless task, isn’t it?