Creamy liquor shimmering in a glass punch bowl is the height of holiday glamour. Last year when my mother-in-law gave me the Orleans Large Glass Bowl by Simon Pearce, the gift itself inspired me to try my hand at eggnog with real cream, a dozen raw eggs, and a bottle of bourbon that had sat in sugar overnight.
She got the punch bowl of dreams from the Simon Pearce store and restaurant in Quechee, Vermont, a shop 45 minutes away from my home in Lyme, New Hampshire. There, visitors can watch artisans blow and sculpt molten glass with the aid of metal tools and thick leather gloves. The result, in the case of my bowl, is a sleek yet sturdy crystal-clear vessel — so wide you can hold it in your arms like you’re giving it a hug — set atop an elegantly ridged base. (Pearce makes carafes and pitchers, too.) Light issues forth from the thick glass, and thanks to its angles, it always looks optimistically half-full, even when it’s closer to empty. It is clean-lined and simple, but the glow it casts makes everything around it more magical.
My New Year’s party proved no one could resist the bright sparkle of the punch bowl. As midnight approached, joints were passed around, and though everyone started to get really lit, I didn’t have to worry about the punch bowl at all. You see, Simon Pearce glass is indestructible. At the Simon Pearce store, you can watch a video of Simon himself hitting a wine glass against the side of a table again and again. The glass does not break! Even when my Christmas tree was knocked over and heirloom ornaments were crushed under snow boots, the Orleans stood firm. Like a queen of the night, my punch bowl was a vision of icy alcoholic glory.
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