There was a time, not too long ago, when a shared bowl of drinks was practically illegal.
Like so many things missing over the past two years, it’s a part of life we’re here to reclaim. There’s a promise of punch and friendliness; it’s a throwback to the brotherhood of a bygone era. Starting with a distinctive punch sets the tone for your gathering and taking care in creating it is practically a language of love. A good punch should be made up of many things: cold but not diluted with ice; interesting but not too esoteric; tasty but not too intense. It may sound easy, but it’s an art to get it right.
Start with the right ingredients and a few clever techniques (freeze a giant piece of ice with toppings inside to keep the punch cold in the bowl without making it watery, for example), and you’ll find that the punch is one in the best and most elegant ways. to start your event. Its simple magic is that all the prep work is loaded up front, allowing you, once the party begins, to focus on welcoming your guests without worrying about drink orders. With that in mind, here are five options, each a surefire way to start your party off perfectly.
Green & Sparkling
Pisco is an impetuous young spirit, and therefore Vodka here acts as a kind of chaperone, taming and stretching the high peaks and reducing the intensity. It goes hand in hand with Chareau, a new liqueur made with aloe, melon, spearmint and cucumber, that tastes like a spa. Combine them all with lavender and champagne, and you have a broad, refreshing, and beautifully floral way to greet your guests.
- 9 oz. Vodka
- 9 oz. pisco
- 1/2oz. Chareau
- 6 oz. lime juice
- 3/4 cups of sugar
- 6 good dashes Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
- 1 bottle of Brut Champagne
- 12 oz. carbonated water
Peel eight limes, add sugar and mash them to bruise them. Cover and let sit for one to two hours to allow the sugar to extract the oils. Then add the lime juice, stir to dissolve the sugar and strain the zest. Combine this with vodka, pisco, chareau and lavender bitters and chill. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Add sparkling water and champagne and stir briefly to combine. Garnish with lime and/or cucumber slices.
Deep & Fruity
This punch, adapted to a large format of one of my favorite Bourbon cocktails, straddling the sweet and the serious. Apricot and Amaro Meletti pair like a dream – the former’s sweetness adds warmth to the latter’s bittersweet floral juiciness – and chamomile and bourbon are so in sync they finish their sentences. Put it all together and you have something floral and pretty but still punchy enough for the most hardy bourbon fan.
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 8 oz. lemon juice
- 15 oz. Bourbon
- 6 oz. Amaro Meletti
- 6 oz. apricot liqueur
- 12 oz. chilled chamomile tea
- 18 oz. Cold water
Peel six lemons, add sugar and mash them to bruise them. Cover and let sit for one to two hours to allow the sugar to extract the oils. Then add the lemon juice, stir to dissolve the sugar and strain the zest. Mix it with the rest of the liquids and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Garnish with lemon slices and chamomile flowers.
Rich and creamy
Eggnog has all sorts of cultural ties and most of them admittedly aren’t great, but good eggnog – real eggnog – is inherently delicious and a total crowd pleaser. The best way to think of it is like unfrozen ice cream. And when we say watered, we’re not kidding. This is our strongest punch of the lot, as we want enough alcohol to harden the milk and eggs in two to three weeks. Yes, it’s eggnog that you can, and even should, age. That is, if you can avoid drinking it all first.
Separate the eggs, keeping only the yolks. Using an immersion blender or blender, beat the yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until the mixture whitens. Add the dairy products to a large bowl, then add the liqueur, salt and nutmeg, then slowly stir in the egg mixture. Pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator, if possible, at least two weeks in advance (same day is fine, but make sure your guests accept raw egg yolks). Serve in a chilled bowl, keeping the mixture as cold as possible, and garnish with grated nutmeg.
Spicy & Warming
In the world of Tequila, it’s the raw sheen of the blancos that attracts the most attention, but when you step into the añejos – tequilas that have been sitting in oak barrels for a few years – you open up a whole new world of potential. You might have a great time drinking variations of Manhattan with añejos and sherry instead of whiskey and vermouth, but add fresh citrus and cinnamon in a large format and introduce your guests to the deeply spiced luxury of aged agave spirits.
- 6 oz. spicy syrup
- 18 oz. tequila anejo
- 6 oz. Amontillado sherry
- 6 oz. lemon juice
- 30 oz. cinnamon iced tea
To make the spicy syrup, take 1⁄2 cup sugar, 4 oz. water, four to six cloves, two to four allspice berries and a star anise pod, and combine in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce to low heat, covered, for five minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. After the hot syrup has been off the heat for about five to 10 minutes, peel six lemons and add the zest to the hot syrup, then stir briefly. Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain out the solids. Mix the spicy syrup with the remaining liquids and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise pods and orange slices.
Bright and fruity
When it comes to flavor pairings, there’s good and bad, predictable and surprising, but we can’t think of anything as viscerally satisfying as the tropical sourness of passion fruit served with raspberries. bright and the deep resonance of vanilla. This punch is the easiest to get wrong – vanilla tends to be cloying, and keeping it present but weak is the goal here – so use a light twist on the cream soda for a delicious, electric and devastating punch.
- 3/4 cups of raspberries
- 3/4 cups of sugar
- 6 oz. lemon juice
- 18 oz. Gin
- 6 oz. passion fruit liqueur
- 6 oz. cream soda, or to taste
- 24 oz. carbonated water
Peel six lemons, add the zests and raspberries to the sugar and mash well to bruise the zests and crush the berries. Cover and let sit for one to two hours to allow the sugar to extract the oils. Then add the lemon juice, stir well to dissolve the sugar and mix in the raspberries, then strain out the solids. Mix it with the rest of the liquids and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Add cream soda and sparkling water, stir briefly to combine and garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon wedges.