A Bundt Pan Ice Ring Is The Foolproof Hack For Beautifully Chilled Punch Bowls

If you're planning a party, you don't need to hire a bartender or spend your whole afternoon making drinks. One of the easiest ways to serve up sips is also one of the trendiest: a punch bowl. Once a staple of the 1960s and '70s, punch bowls have come back in a big way in the last few years, popping up at stylish weddings, being served up as large-format cocktails at buzzy bars, and making a splash on Instagram and Pinterest.

A big batch of punch needs to stay cool, however; and, while a bag of ice is probably your first instinct, individual cubes dumped into the bowl will melt very quickly and you'll have to keep adding more as the day goes on. Also, each time you add ice cubes to the bowl your punch will become more and more diluted, which waters down the flavor and color. Instead of a bag of ice, try making an ice ring for your punch bowl instead. It will melt slowly, add flavor to the mix, and will look beautiful. All you need is some fresh fruit and a Bundt cake pan.

Making a Bundt pan ice ring

The best mold for making an ice ring is a classic-shaped Bundt cake pan, which looks very festive and has a lot of surface area for cooling your batch of drinks. You can use either a metal pan or a silicone model, although silicone pans are the easiest for unmolding. Before you make your ring, check to make sure your cake pan fits inside your punch bowl (otherwise your ice ring won't fit either).

To make your ring, fill the pan with a few cups of fresh fruit, berries, and herbs that will complement your punch. Edible flowers are also a nice touch as they will float around in the punch as the ice melts. Once you have your pan filled about two-thirds with fruit, fill it the rest of the way with either a couple of cups of reserved punch; the mixers you used to make the punch; or lemonade. So, when you're grocery shopping for your ingredients, be sure to buy a little extra of everything for freezing; and, if you're making a bowl of Bloody Marys for a brunch party, get an extra bottle of tomato juice for your ice ring. This way, your punch won't get diluted as the ice melts like it would with ice made from water.

Serving a Bundt pan ice ring

Once you have your pan filled, freeze it for a few hours or overnight. 

When it's time to serve, unmold the ring and place it in the bottom of your punch bowl before you add the liquids (If you add the liquid to the bowl first, the bowl might overflow when you add the ice ring). If you're using a metal pan, unmold your ring by running the pan upside down under hot water until it pops out. For silicone pans, the ring should pop right out; but, if it doesn't, use hot water as you would with a metal pan.

If you think your party will go on for more than a few hours, make an extra ice ring to have on hand for keeping the punch bowl fresh. You don't need an extra cake pan, just make one ring a few days in advance and keep it frozen, and make another one after you've unmolded the first.

Punch is perfect for using up some of the ingredients you already have around, like half bottles of liquor and juice, as well as berries and fruit. The mixing doesn't have to stop at the drink itself, however. Try adding different combinations of flavors you have on hand to your ice ring to make your drinks unique. Plus, if you have a beautiful vintage punch bowl, a fruit and flower-filled ice ring will take your presentation to the next level.