Punch recipes to get your summer lit
THE weather has changed and the sun is out so what you serve also has to change. Although cocktails are a great way to impress friends and family, there is nothing better than serving a fruity punch. Gone are the days of grandma’s punch and teacups hung off the side of the bowl, punch has a new zest and it’s a great party pleaser.
I find that having to run up and down to make individual cocktails can be tedious so punch is the answer. The only trick is to watch the ratios of liquids. You can always add more water or more alcohol but you can’t remove it.
Also keep in mind that fruit is key in your punch so always check what is in season and available at the supermarket.
Fruits in season during summer include guavas, mangoes, nectarines, bananas, raspberries, pineapples and peaches.
These recipes are great to try out at your next summer gathering.
Recipes: The Washington Post
Bramble on punch
A MEZCAL punch mutation of Dick Bradsell’s gin-based modern classic cocktail, the Bramble, this recipe uses summer blackberries for both flavour and show.
While you can make this with a good silver tequila if you choose, it’s better if you go for a mezcal that has some smoke to it (something like Vida or El Silencio Espadin will work fine here).
Make ahead: The punch needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving. 177ml fresh blackberries 3 cups mezcal 1¼ cups creme de mure 1 cup Aperol 2 cups fresh lemon juice ( from 8 to 9 lemons) 15ml orange bitters 2 cups ice cubes
Muddle the blackberries gently at the bottom of a large pitcher. Add the mezcal, creme de mure, Aperol, lemon juice and bitters, stirring to incorporate.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour, allowing the berries to soak up the flavours of the drink.
Add the ice to the pitcher and serve, using a cocktail spoon to retrieve a blackberry or two to place in each portion. 16 Servings.
Recipe by M Carrie Allan – The Washington Post
Summer garden punch
TURNING fresh cherry tomatoes into a sweet-and-savoury shrub intensifies their flavours.
You’ll need cheesecloth and a finemesh strainer to prepare the shrub.
Make ahead: Make the tomato shrub a few hours ahead of time (and up to 2 weeks in advance) to ensure it’s adequately chilled by the time you make the punch.
The tomato shrub
2 cups cherry tomatoes 1 tin fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp salt ½ cup sherry vinegar ¼ cup sugar 2 sprigs rosemary 2 cups water
3 cups vodka 1 cup dry vermouth ½ to ¾ cup tonic water, or as needed ice cherry tomatoes, for garnish thin cucumber slices, for garnish coriander sprigs, for garnish
For the tomato shrub: Cut each cherry tomato in half, placing them in a large saucepan as you work.
Add the canned tomatoes, pepper, salt, vinegar, sugar, rosemary and water, stirring to blend well.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly and pressing on the solids to break them up. Let cool. Meanwhile, line the fine-mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and set the strainer over a large bowl.
Ladle the cooled shrub mixture scoop by scoop into the strainer, pressing on the solids so the liquids are captured in the bowl below. The yield is about 3½ cups. Discard the solids, then transfer the shrub to a sealed container.
Refrigerate for a few hours, until well chilled (and up to 2 weeks).
For the punch: Combine 3 cups of the shrub, the vodka and vermouth in a large mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate, then pour into a large pitcher. Chill until you are ready to serve.
To serve, add the tonic water (to taste) and stir.
Fill individual glasses with ice and your desired garnishes, then pour the punch into the glasses. 16 Servings. Recipe by M Carrie Allan – The Washington Post
Here, pink grapefruit juice pairs beautifully with multiple spirits.
Freshly squeezed juice is best, but if you use a commercial brand, choose a fresh one from the refrigerated section that hasn’t been sweetened.
You can use a smoky mezcal such as Del Maguey Vida or take this punch in another direction with a London dry gin. (If you want to make a bubbly, lower-alcohol version, you can lengthen the punch by adding measures of tonic or San Pellegrino grapefruit soda.)
The aperitif wine Cocchi Rosa adds a lightly sweet, fruity note and the bitterness of quinine.
Make ahead: Make this pitcher-punch an hour in advance to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. 3½ cups ruby red grapefruit juice (see headnote) 2 ½ cups Cocchi Rosa aperitif wine (see headnote) 1¾ cups mezcal or London dry gin 22ml Angostura bitters ¼ tsp salt 6 thyme sprigs Large ice cubes
Combine the juice, Cocchi Rosa, mezcal or gin, bitters and salt in a large pitcher, stirring to blend well.
Add the thyme sprigs, transfer to the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
Stir, then add the large ice cubes. Keep a long-handled spoon at hand to stir the punch if you’re serving it over a length of time. Pour into punch cups (without sending any of the thyme sprigs into them). 16 Servings. Recipe by M Carrie Allan – The Washington Post