Summer Punch

COCKTAIL RECIPE – my 4-ingredient Summer Punch

I like punch for parties because you can just point to a punch bowl & let guests serve themselves. Ice is crucial (summertime!) but also I use frozen fruit as extra ice, because it doesn’t dilute the punch. Berries are especially nice, or frozen peaches, if you want a Bellini feeling.

However… A friend recently got me a giant Mason jar with a tap, which works beautifully to keep bugs out of the drink (look, it’s New Orleans in summer, and yep, there are bugs. We cope.) Unfortunately, the raspberries defrosted and those g-d tiny seeds got stuck in the tap and I can tell you, trying to get raspberry seeds out of a samovar tap with a long skinny knife, while wearing a flowery 1950s-style vintage party dress, is not the best hostess look. There may have been a slightly off-color word or seven. Next time, I’ll stick with the tried & true classic punch bowl!

Ingredients:
1 cup whiskey (bourbon or rye, whatever you have ready to hand; do not use that single-malt your lover is saving for hard times. Really, you want cheerfully cheap and drinkable as the key quality.)
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup ginger syrup (recipe below)
1 bottle sparkling wine (Cava or whatever comes to hand)

Combine, add frozen fruit to keep chilled in punch bowl. Serve with extra ice & an citrus slice.

For ginger syrup: peel & grate one large-ish, say 3 inch, piece of fresh ginger until you have about 1/3 of a cup. Add a cup of water & two heaping tablespoons of brown sugar or honey. Let simmer briskly for about 12 minutes, drain, and let cool. Ready to use.

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