~ A good punch will keep friends happy. ~
When I started experimenting with cocktails in 2007 I was still messing around with college-friendly liqueurs. The cocktail world was nothing like it is now, and outside NY, LA, San Fran., and Chicago there weren't very many bars that had a focus on craft cocktails. Obviously, a lot has changed in 9 years.
There was a lot of tinkering, reading, note taking, and time invested in cleaning up my messes in my early cocktail years. I sampled a lot of these explorations on friends, which was a perk for them. We had client work, also, that made it financially rewarding. The last two years I've been in favor of punches and pre-batched drinks. This way I spend more time sitting with a glass in my hand and visiting versus taking orders and squeezing lemons.
Here are a few punch recipes I created the last two years, and suggest giving a try if you plan to host between now and New Year's.
16 oz Dark Rum
2 oz Velvet Falernum
2 oz Domaine de Canton
8 oz Club soda
4 oz Grapefruit juice
4 oz Lemon juice
4 Sugar cubes
Prep: Pour ingredients into a large bowl. Add lemon and grapefruit wheels and cut up rind. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a large ice cube created with a Ziplock container and place in bowl. Always use fresh squeezed fruit.
Fall Rider (The LAB created for S'mores & Pours)
225 oz. Vodka (8 bottles + 22 oz) * We used Darkhorse's Rider for this event
94 oz Pomegranate Liqueur (3 bottles + 18 oz.)
94 oz Simple syrup
19 oz Apfelkorn
150 oz Club soda
Angostura Bitters to taste. Ideally a dash per serving.
Created to serve 150.
Prep: Lightly grill Granny Smith apple slices and clementine slices with butter. Try to get a grilled char. As many as you can and want. They'll add sweetness and more fruit tang, and are visually pleasing. Add vodka, simple syrup, Pomegranate Liqueur, Apfelkorn, and bitters with half of the fruit slices and stir. All but Club Soda. Before serving add cold Club Soda. Stir well and add rest of fruit slices.
Curacao Punch (1882) - A variation by The LAB
9 Tblsp Sugar
2-2.5 oz Lemon
18 oz Soda water
18 oz Brandy
36 oz Orange Curacao
18 oz Jamaician Rum
Prep: Add all ingredients and stir lightly until sugar has dissolved. Will make 18 servings.
14 oz Rye whiskey
3 oz Domaine de Canton
2 oz Jasmine Pearl Tea syrup*
2 oz Galliano
2 oz Lemon juice
8 C Apple cider
1/2 C of Mulling spices
Prep: Pour ingredients into a Crock Pot and set on low. Let heat up for two hours before serving.
*Jasmine Pearl Tea syrup is a 1:1 ratio with sugar and water. Jasmine Pearl is added. I use 1 teaspoon per cup of water.
Most importantly just like cooking, if you feel like a flavor profile is missing add to your taste.