The perfect communal cocktails —sure, call it punch then—for your summer parties.
Green & Bubbly
Pisco is a brash young spirit, and so vodka here acts as a kind of chaperone, taming and stretching out the high peaks and reducing the intensity. This pairs with Chareau, a new-ish liqueur made from aloe, melon, spearmint and cucumber, which tastes like how a spa feels. Combine them all with lavender and champagne, and you have a broad, cooling, beautifully floral way to greet your guests.
270 ml vodka 270 ml pisco
15 ml Chareau 180 ml lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
6 good dashes Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
1 bottle Brut champagne 360 ml soda water
Peel eight limes, add sugar and muddle to bruise them. Cover and let sit for one to two hours
to allow the sugar to draw out the oils. Then add lime juice,
stir to dissolve the sugar and strain out the peels. Combine this with vodka, pisco, Chareau and lavender bitters and chill. When it’s time to serve, pour mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Add the sparkling water and champagne and stir briefly to combine. Garnish with lime and/or cucumber wheels.
Deep & Fruity
This punch, adapted to a large format from one of my favourite bourbon cocktails, straddles the line between soft and serious. Apricot and Amaro Meletti fit together like a dream—the former’s sweetness adds warmth to the floral bittersweet juiciness of the latter—and chamomile and bourbon are so in sync they finish each other’s sentences. Put it all together and you’ve got something floral and pretty but still punchy enough for the most robust bourbon fan.
6 tbsp. sugar
240 ml lemon juice
450 ml bourbon
180 ml Amaro Meletti 180 ml apricot liqueur 360 ml chilled chamomile tea
540 ml cold water
Peel six lemons, add sugar and muddle to bruise them. Cover and let sit for one to two hours to allow the sugar to draw out the oils. Then add lemon juice, stir to dissolve the sugar and strain out the peels. Combine this with the rest of the liquids and chill. When it’s time to serve, pour mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Garnish with lemon wheels and chamomile flowers.
Rich & Creamy
Partly thanks to the warmth it conveys, eggnog is traditionally associated with Christmas, but good eggnog can be drunk at any time of the year, and is a total crowd-pleaser. The best way to think of it is as boozy unfrozen ice cream. And when we say boozy, we’re not kidding. This is our strongest punch of the batch, because we want there to be enough alcohol to cure the milk and eggs within two to three weeks.
Yes, this is eggnog that you can, and indeed should, age. That is, if you can avoid drinking it all first.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
600 ml whole milk
600 ml heavy cream
24 ml aged rum
24 ml cognac
150 ml bourbon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
Separate the eggs, keeping just the yolks. Using an immersion blender or a mixer, beat the yolks with the sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in colour. Add dairy to a large bowl, then add the alcohol, salt and nutmeg, then slowly beat in the egg mixture. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge, if possible, at least two weeks ahead of time (same day is acceptable, but make sure your guests are okay with raw egg yolks). Serve from a chilled bowl, keeping the mixture as cold as possible, and garnish with grated nutmeg.
Spiced & Warming
In the world of tequila, it’s the raw brightness of the blancos that garners most of the attention, but when you get into the añejos— tequilas that have slumbered in oak barrels for a few years—you open up a whole new world of potential. You could have a lovely time just drinking Manhattan variations with añejos and sherry instead of whiskey and vermouth, but add some fresh citrus and cinnamon in a large format, and introduce your guests to the deeply spiced luxuriousness of aged agave spirits.
180 ml spiced syrup
540 ml añejo tequila
180 ml Amontillado sherry 180 ml lemon juice
900 ml chilled cinnamon tea
To make the spiced syrup take 1⁄2 cup sugar, 120 mm water, four to six cloves, two to four allspice berries and one star anise pod, and combine in a small pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce to simmer, covered, for five minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Once the spiced syrup has been off heat for about five to 10 minutes, peel six lemons and add the peels to spiced syrup, then stir briefly. Let cool to room temperature, then strain out solids. Combine spiced syrup with the rest of the liquids and chill. When it’s time to serve, pour mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise pods and orange wheels.
Bright & Fruity
As far as flavour pairings go, there are good and bad, predictable and surprising, but we can’t think of anything quite so viscerally satisfying as the tropical acidity of passion fruit served alongside bright raspberries and the deep resonance of vanilla. This punch is the easiest to get wrong— vanilla has a tendency to cloy, and keeping it present but faint is the aim here—so use a light touch on the cream soda for a delightful, electric, devastatingly tasty punch.
3/4 cup raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
180 ml lemon juice
540 ml gin
180 ml passion fruit liqueur
180 ml cream soda, or to taste 720 ml soda water
Peel six lemons, add peels and raspberries to sugar and muddle well to bruise the peels and smash the berries. Cover and let sit for one to two hours to allow the sugar to draw out the oils. Then add lemon juice, stir well to dissolve the sugar and mix the raspberries and then strain out the solids. Combine this with the rest of the liquids and chill. When it’s time to serve, pour mixture into a large serving bowl and add a very large piece of ice. Add the cream soda and the soda water, stir briefly to combine and garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon wheels.
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