Are you falling into the swing of the autumn party season yet?
I sure am, and a big part of that is because this happens to be the season of birthdays for my family. With over 10 birthdays between friends and family over three months, it feels like we are gathering together every single week to celebrate.
After the renovation that my husband and I completed on our house – despite our two insane dogs – our home has become party central.
I personally love to be in hostess mode, but when it’s repeated week after week, it can be a little taxing. That’s when I like to turn to easy recipes that impress a crowd without fail, but aren’t a total headache to create.
We are a pretty boozy group, so alcoholic punches are the name of the party game when it comes to me not losing my mind.
I have to say, this is by far the prettiest punch I’ve ever made. While the German name Moosbeereherbstblätter Bowle is a bit of a mouthful for English speakers, the drink itself is elevated, and simple.
I mean, just look at it… The gorgeous purple and red carnation petals are complemented by orange and dark red candles, making the fruity beverage look like it has burning autumn leaves floating on top.
I just adore the pop of color, because it’s so different from the typical party beverages. And it’s easy to make, in just a few simple steps.
First, you fill and freeze some white grape juice ice cubes with cranberries set inside – “Moosbeere” is German for cranberry. The cubes keep the punch cool, but they won’t water the mixture down because you are using juice and fruit that complements the entire mixture.
Then you combine the fruit, sugar, and vodka to bring out the flavors in the fruit, and infuse the vodka with citrus peach flavor. You make both the fruit vodka mixture and the ice cubes ahead of time, so when you are ready to serve, all you have to do is put all of the ingredients in the punch bowl and you’re set.
The layers of flavor built by the multiple juices, plus the champagne or sparkling white wine (if you like a sweeter flavor, I recommend trying a bottle of prosecco), really make a delicious combination that you’ll want to bring out for festive occasions year after year.
If you are hoping to make this punch non-alcoholic, you totally can. All you have to do is leave out the vodka and substitute the champagne or sparkling wine with ginger ale. Additional details are provided in the “Cooking By the Numbers…” section below.
The final topping of richly hued edible flowers makes the punch look like it’s topped with festive leaves. That’s where is gets its name, with “Herbstblätter” translated from German to mean “autumn leaves” and “Bowle” meaning punch.
You can use any harvest colors that you prefer, or that are available at your local store or online. I recommend staying away from colors that are closer to brown because they will disappear in this cocktail, so you end up losing that pop of vibrancy that reds, golds, and oranges will bring.
You can opt to skip the candles if you prefer, but if you do choose to use them, make sure they are non-toxic. I like to choose colors that complement those of the flowers, as I’ve pictured here.Print
At your next fall gathering you will really wow the crowd with this Moosbeereherbstblätter Bowle recipe, aka Cranberry Autumn Leaves Punch.
- 2 cups white grape juice
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup fresh sliced ripe peaches (not canned)
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced with seeds removed
- 1 orange, thinly sliced with seeds removed
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups unsweetened 100% cranberry juice
- 1 cup pulp-free orange juice
- 4 cups 100% apple juice
- 1 bottle champagne or sparkling white wine
- 3 large carnations or other edible flowers (pesticide-free, in harvest colors)
- Fill a few standard ice cube trays 1/3 full with white grape juice. You should end up with 36 to 40 ice cubes, depending on the size of your ice cube trays.
- When ice has begun to harden, after about 1-1 1/2 hours, place one cranberry in each of the cubes (if your cranberries are small enough, add two cranberries to each) and fill the remainder of each with more grape juice. Freeze overnight until fully hardened.
- In a large jar (a sun tea or large mason jar is perfect), combine vodka with peaches, citrus fruits, and sugar, and place in the refrigerator. For a non-alcoholic version, skip the vodka and combine the fruit with the sugar to macerate in a large bowl. Chill, along with all of the other ingredients, for at least 3-4 hours.
- The day of the event, fill a punch bowl with the cranberry, orange, and apple juices. Slowly add the vodka and fruit, followed by the champagne. Add the ice cubes.
- For presentation, tear the petals off the carnations and sprinkle atop the punch. For an even bigger decorative impact, place non-toxic floating candles in the punch to create a “burning leaves” look, but make sure the drink is served safely!
- Category: Punch
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: punch, cocktail, German, Autumn, fruit juice
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Make Ice Cubes
Measure out white grape juice and fresh cranberries.
Fill ice cube trays 1/3 of the way full with white grape juice. You will end up using 4 standard ice cube trays, for about 36-40 ice cubes total.
Freeze the trays for about 1-1 1/2 hours. Place one large cranberry in each of the cubes (or, if your cranberries are small like mine were, add two to each cube). Fill the each with more grape juice.
Freeze at least 8 hours to harden, or overnight.
Step 2 – Soak Fruit
If you are making this punch non-alcoholic, skip this step.
Measure the vodka and the granulated sugar. Set aside.
Add vodka, sugar, and peaches to a large mason jar or sun tea jar. Stir together to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
Step 3 – Measure Remaining Liquids and Finish Punch
The day of the event, measure cranberry juice, orange juice, apple juice, and champagne or sparkling wine.
If you are making a non-alcoholic version, use ginger ale in lieu of champagne or sparkling wine.
Combine the cranberry juice, orange juice, and apple juice in a large punch bowl. Stir to combine.
Slowly pour in the vodka and fruit, stirring to combine.
For non-alcoholic punch, add sugar and fruit only, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Pour in the champagne, sparkling wine, or ginger ale. Add the ice cubes, and stir to combine well.
Step 4 – Decorate Punch with Flowers and Candles
When you’re ready to serve, tear the petals off the flowers and sprinkle them on top of the punch. Carnations are edible, so your guests don’t need to worry about ingesting them, as long as they were grown organically.
For a really festive look, place non-toxic floating candles in harvest colors on top of the punch. This creates a “burning leaves” appearance, and it’s quite gorgeous.
How Do I Remove the Flower Petals?
You’ll notice when you pull apart each carnation, if this is the type of flower that you are using, the petals will come out in a clump pretty easily, but it tends to pull out the green ends of the petals.
I like to use kitchen shears to clip off the white and green ends of the petals, as those don’t really provide the pop of color you are looking for on top of the punch.
It’s a simple way to prep the petals, and then you can sprinkle them on top of the cocktail as much or as little as you desire.
And if you are looking for more delicious fall cocktails, check out these tasty options:
How will you serve this colorful punch? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe once you try it for yourself.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Recipe originally published on September 3, 2013. Last updated: October 9, 2019 at 11:35 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.