With the holiday season approaching, odds are you’re about to spend way more time at big gatherings with food prepared in bulk. You’ll load your plate with Grandma’s mac and cheese and jump into a few heated discussions about politics. Before heading out to play flip cup with your cousins in the garage, you’ll need a drink. Then you’ll spot the punch bowl: a watery mess of melting ice and sliced fruit. Was this fruit punch or eggnog? You'll shudder, because you knew better. When you mix a batch drink, you use an ice block.

Ice blocks sound fancy and complicated, but they are neither of those things. Made of just water and fruit (we like cranberries), an ice block keeps your drink cold without overly diluting the good stuff.

cranberry ice block: final

How to Make a Cranberry Ice Block

You'll need...

1 metal bundt pan
5 cups frozen cranberries
4 cups boiling water

Step 1:

cranberry ice block: step 1
Pour 2 1/2 cups cranberries into the bundt pan. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the cranberries (this helps them plump up), then place the pan in the freezer on a flat surface. Freeze at least 3 hours (or overnight).

Step 2:

cranberry ice block: step 2
Take the pan out of the freezer (use oven mitts because the pan is super cold!) and pour remaining cranberries into the pan. Pour remaining boiling water over the berries, then throw it back in the freezer for another 3 hours (or overnight).

Step 3:

cranberry ice block: step 3
When the block is fully frozen, take it out of the freezer (again, don't forget the oven mitts).

Step 4:

cranberry ice block: step 4
Run warm water around the outside of the pan, then overturn onto a baking sheet.

Step 5:

cranberry ice block: step 5
Slide the ice block into a punch bowl (or any large serving bowl). Fill bowl with punch, spiked or not.

Cranberry Ice Block
Recipe by: Rebecca Firkser
Makes: 1 ice block

5 cups frozen cranberries
4 cups boiling water

1. Pour 2 1/2 cups cranberries into the bundt pan. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the cranberries (this helps them plump up), then place the pan in the freezer on a flat surface. Freeze at least 3 hours (or overnight).

2. Take the pan out of the freezer (use oven mitts because the pan is super cold!) and pour remaining cranberries into the pan. Pour remaining boiling water over the berries, then throw it back in the freezer for another 3 hours (or overnight).

3. When the block is fully frozen, take it out of the freezer (again, don't forget the oven mitts).

4. Run warm water around the outside of the pan, then overturn onto a baking sheet.

5. Slide the ice block into a punch bowl (or any large serving bowl). Fill bowl with punch, spiked or not.

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