With the Solstice holidays behind us, it’s time to look to the end of 2015. With that in mind, we decided to make some party-compatible punches. One cold and fruit-forward, one warm and elegant. Let’s end 2015 with a bang. 🙂
For our first punch, Christa wanted to do something citrus-y using Grand Marnier as the primary component. We went with cranberry, tangerine, and lime as supporting flavors to start, and it was a gimme. But it still needed a little bit of kick, and after tasting through calvados, cognac, vodka, and kirschwasser, we went with calvados – it’s aged character added some depth, and the apple flavor played well with the other ingredients without overpowering them. With the base of the punch worked out, we added some soda water to brighten it a bit, and then some lemon sorbet to add creaminess (despite it’s lack of dairy ;)) and to double down on the citrus flavor.
- 1 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
- 1/2 oz Calvados
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz tangerine juice
- 1/2 oz cranberry juice
- 3/4 oz soda water
- 1 tbl. lemon sorbet
Shake first 5 ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Top with soda water and a dollop of lemon sorbet.
- Nose: Creamy/yeasty orange and cranberry (like cranberry bread) and a little bit of lemon. Faint cider barrel, dry apple like apple peel.
- Palate: Opens with lemon and tangerine. Barrel notes and dry apple from the calvados at the start of the mid-palate. Lime, more tangerine and cranberry on the mid-palate and into the finish. Really rich brandy and sweet orange on the finish. Dry apple on the aftertaste. Becomes creamier and sweeter as it warms up, but interestingly the acidity of the soda stands up more to balance it out.
Yum! A very tasty punch with the lovely rich notes speaking up, certain to be a hit at your NYE cocktail party.
Next up, Shaun was thinking about warmer, richer punches. After noodling around with some dark rums, amaros, and Swedish punsch, we found that line of inquiry wasn’t giving us the vibe. We decided to see what we could do with a white spirit, even though we were thinking of a hot punch. We pulled a bottle of pisco off of the shelf and added some Chartreuse, which brought some complex herbal flavors to a gently floral base. So far so good, but a little over balanced on the herbal side. A bit of St. Germain helped balance things out and upped the floral notes nicely. At that point we were really happy with the flavor, but it was an all booze punch. That seemed a bit excessive even for us. With some experimentation, we settled on a dry riesling to help cut the proof and round out the flavor. The drink was still a bit dry, but a soupçon of honey fixed that. OK, fine, it’s still an all booze punch, but hey it’s us, so what are you going to do?
- 1 1/2 oz pisco
- 2 oz floral white like a dry riesling or dry muscat
- 3/4 oz St. Germain
- 1/4 oz Chartreuse
- 1/8 oz honey
Warm all ingredients on the stove with an orange twist. Discard twist, pour into a glass. Enjoy.
- Nose: Honey, wine, herbal notes of the Chartreuse, orange, sweet floral like honeysuckle.
- Palate: Honeysuckle, orange blossom, and orange peel to start. Mid-palate is resin-y grape notes with a slightly bitter, savory herbal flavor reminiscent of thyme. The finish dries out and savory, mildly spicy notes like mild pepper or rye spice really come to the fore. Aftertaste is dry and faintly vegetal like hay. Rich or strongly flavored nibblies should pair nicely with this. Though you’ll want to use wee punch cups. This is a very strong punch. 😉
For both punches, we decided to give you the single serving proportions so you can try them out without having to make a huge bowl’s worth. To make a full batch simply multiply everything by 10, 20, 30, or whatever. 😉
There you go, a couple of rich decadent punch recipes for your NYE cocktail party if you want to take things to the next level. 😉 Thanks everyone for following us in 2015 and before. We’ll see you in 2016! Drink on!