SALISBURY, N.C. — Southerners might put up their Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving, but for some, the holiday season starts now: when Cheerwine Punch hits shelves. Cheerwine, the 100-year-old, family-owned soft drink from North Carolina, is announcing Cheerwine Punch’s availability for a limited time—the “most wonderful time of the year”—across the Carolinas through December 31.
“Since before the 1930s, Cheerwine Punch has been a part of my family’s holiday traditions for generations, just like it’s been a holiday tradition for many families in the Carolinas,” said Joy Ritchie-Harper, director of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member. “It’s an important part of our celebrations year-round, but this holiday season, we’ll be toasting to the end of a special year: our 100th anniversary.”
Cheerwine Punch: Tips for serving a southern holiday treat
The wild cherry, effervescent taste of Cheerwine is a staple of Carolina culture, and Cheerwine Holiday Punch joins that iconic flavor with bright, bubbly ginger ale and tangy pineapple. Harper offers a few tried-and-true tips for making Cheerwine Punch extra-festive for holiday celebrations.
For the traditionalist: Carolinians can pick up a 2-liter bottle of Cheerwine Punch throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as online at www.Cheerwine.com. Cheerwine fans who want to make the traditional Cheerwine Punch recipe at home can combine: two 2-liter bottles of Cheerwine, one 2-liter bottle of ginger ale, and two 46-ounce cans of unsweetened pineapple juice. Serve in a drink dispenser or a punch bowl.
For the Pinterest addicts: Dress up a punch bowl by placing a holiday wreath around the base and by creating an ice ring in a bundt pan with fruit and Cheerwine Punch. As the ice ring melts, the punch retains its flavor and takes on some of the character from the fruit.
In lieu of a punch bowl, Harper suggests floating cranberries and mint leaves in a pitcher or keeping drinks cool with frozen raspberries or frozen fruit “ice cubes.” Glasses can also be garnished with sliced lime.
For the grown-ups: Looking to add an adults-only kick? Mix one part Cheerwine Punch with one part Champagne for a sparkling southern treat. Rimming a champagne flute with sugar can add a sweet—and pretty—touch.
For those with a sweet tooth: Of course, there’s also that tried-and-true southern dessert: the Cheerwine float, modified for the holidays. Pour Cheerwine Punch over a scoop of sherbet or ice cream for a twist on this classic treat. Adding a few scoops of sherbet or ice cream to the punch bowl can also add a cool creaminess to a holiday punch.
Gift Guide for Cheerwine fans
Loved ones looking for holiday gifts for Cheerwine fans should look no further than www.Cheerwine.com. Cheerwine’s online store offers 100th anniversary apparel, glassware, metal signs, coolers, and more for purchase. The selections include a few new items, including a specialty mason jar.
And don’t forget: a 4-pack or case of Cheerwine glass bottles makes a great gift, especially for out-of-state friends and relatives.
100 Years of Cheer
Cheerwine has remained independent, family owned and based in Salisbury, N.C., for the last 100 years.
While experimenting with soft-drink recipes in 1917 during WWI sugar rationings, Cheerwine’s founder L.D. Peeler added a unique wild cherry flavoring to the mix. And, just like magic, the legendary taste of Cheerwine was born (delivered back then by train, horse and wagon).
During the twentieth century, Cheerwine became an important part of Carolina culture. The family business continued to succeed throughout difficult eras in American history, including The Great Depression and World War II. From the first Cheerwine vending machine in the 1950s, to the first aluminum can of Cheerwine in the 1960s, to the launch of Diet Cheerwine in the 1970s, the brand has grown with the times while still retaining its authenticity and independence.
Created in 1917 by L.D. Peeler, Cheerwine is a one-of-a-kind soft drink with a unique wild cherry flavor. It is an iconic brand from Salisbury, North Carolina. Owned by the Carolina Beverage Corporation, the 100-year-old company is still privately owned and managed by the same founding family, five generations of whom have worked there. Cliff Ritchie leads Cheerwine as president and CEO. Available in supermarkets, restaurants, mass merchandisers and convenience stores in select states nationwide and on the website atcheerwine.com. For more information, follow Cheerwine on Facebook at facebook.com/cheerwine or on Twitter and Instagram @drinkcheerwine.