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We Tried It: Golden Glow Punch from the Archives

By Amy Palanjian

We're bringing back the art of the party punch with this 1960s recipe straight from the Better Homes and Gardens archive.

When I was a kid, bright punch bowls were a staple of every holiday and family party. Most of the time, they were a vivid ruby red or orange color, and they almost always had giant scoops of rainbow sherbet. At the time, I thought my grandparents were the BEST—what kid wouldn't want a cup of melty sherbet?—but I also realize now that taking the time to make a special party drink was part of how they showed their hospitality to friends and family.

With that in mind, I dug into the Archives to see what past punch recipes I could find in old issues of BH&G. Many included whipped raw egg whites, for what I can imagine is a frothy and delightful touch, but I settled on a more straightforward recipe for Golden Glow Punch.

I was mostly intrigued because the first ingredient is orange-flavored gelatin…which is not an ingredient that I've ever thought to add to a drink. But knowing how potent the flavor is, I figured there was a good reason it was there and I got testing.

The note at the top of the recipe recommends to "Freeze pineapple tidbits and maraschino cherries in ice cubes for a holiday look", so I of course did that straight away. I froze the pineapple in pineapple juice and the cherries in some water to make sure that the red color would really pop once frozen.

With those happily chilling the freezer, I gathered the rest of my ingredients. I did swap in regular pineapple juice for canned frozen pineapple-orange concentrate, which I couldn't seem to find in my local store. (Hey, maybe this recipe is still popular where I live in the Midwest!) But after that, it was very straight forward.

Step 1: Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water in a big bowl.

Step 2: Add the pineapple juice, apple juice, and water.

Step 3: I changed this step a little simply because I don't have a punch bowl—which, fear not, I plan to rectify here soon! Instead of doing one giant batch, I did them in individual portions, filling my glasses about 1/3 full with the base, and adding about an equal measure of ginger ale.

Step 4: Add the ice cubes for a bright pop of color!

The verdict? Even though I'm fairly certain that my grandmother never made this exact punch, it somehow still tasted like my childhood. The intense orange flavor combined with the fizz and flavor of the ginger ale work together really well. And when thinking about sharing this punch with my friends, I couldn't help but feel the urge to balance out some of the sweetness with a favorite clear liquor…and then serve it in slightly smaller glasses!

Golden Glow Punch

Better Homes and Gardens, December 1966

Freeze pineapple tidbits and maraschino cherries in ice cubes for a holiday look.

1 3-ounce package orange-flavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 6-ounce can frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate

4 cups apple juice

3 cups cold water

1 12-ounce bottle ginger ale, chilled

1. Dissolve orange-flavored gelatin in the boiling water. Stir in the fruit juice concentrate. Add apple juice and the cold water. Pour over ice cubes or ice ring in a punch bowl. Resting bottle on rim of the bowl, carefully pour in chilled ginger ale.