Punch recipes to get your sum­mer lit

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - Nathan Adams

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

The punch

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

Ruby’s arms

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

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