Punch Me Up!
July 28, 2013 1:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a garden party for 15-20 friends and would like to serve a sparkling punch. The menu is cold roast chicken, deviled eggs, cucumber gazpacho, crab cakes and an antipasto platter.

It would be nice (but not strictly necessary) to use some ingredients already on hand:
Passionfruit syrup (Trader Vic's, large bottle)
Peach nectar (1 liter)

Other booze in the house:
Vodka (oh hells yeah there is a lot of vodka)
White tequila (750 ml)
Elderflower liqueur
Honey vodka (750 ml)
Campari (350 ml)
Prosecco (3 bottles)

Sparkling, pretty and not sickly sweet are my main priorities. Thanks so much for any and all suggestions!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Shrubs seem to be suddenly popular (or maybe I just now noticed). Here's a representative-looking recipe from Chow. They are delicious, refreshing, and can easily be made sweeter or less sweet, depending on your taste.
posted by rtha at 1:36 PM on July 28, 2013

Best answer: Holy shit I know I haven't been invited to this but that sounds like a kickass menu. Send me food, please.

Not a recipe per se, but vodka up some cherries. I pit the cherries first, but whatever. Takes a couple/few days to get all the flavor out of the cherries. It'll give most whatever punch you decide to make a nice fruity kick in the gahongas. No, I'm not particularly sure what I mean by that.

I'm a fan of fizzy rosemary lemonade (not particularly compatible with cherry vodka, but see below), which looks like it would accentuate your menu very well. Makes about as much as it makes, depending on the quantity of vodka used:
-Three quarts soda water (Canada Dry, Perrier, whatever)
-Five lemons, juiced
-Zest of two of them there lemons (that's quite a bit, but I like my lemonade to be pretty goddam lemony)
-2/3 cup of sugar (or to taste, but err on the side of dry)
-Four or five big (think, like, 4-inch long) sprigs of fresh rosemary, bruised and tossed into the vodka for a few hours before mixing it all together -- keep a lid on it so the nice-smelling stuff doesn't all float off (even though I'm anosmic and it's wasted on me I like to think of others... I'm good like that)
-Vodka to taste (a pint or so ah hell, go for the gusto and use a quart of it)

(This is good enough for non-party use w/plain old non-fizzy water, and your elderflower liqueur would probably work well in lieu of the sugar and vodka.)

Mix all that together, put it in a fancy bowl half-filled with ice cubes, and you're all set. Invite me over next time, will you?
posted by cog_nate at 2:44 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Light Dragoon's Punch is really good and not too sweet, but doesn't use anything you've got. But just taking inspiration by using black tea as a flavoring agent is a pretty good idea by itself, too.
posted by Maecenas at 2:47 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you don't want it to be too sickly sweet, try looking at recipes that use tea and less juice. Black tea adds a great flavor to punch.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Prosecco+blended watermelon+mint (or basil).
posted by travelwithcats at 3:02 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

A Madison Fizz is almost perfect for what you're describing. Unfortunately, you don't have most of the ingredients, but I do think it meets your requirements for sparkly, not sickly sweet (I do not like overly sweet drinks, though this one is definitely sweet), and pretty.

The linked recipe is for a single serving, but it scales up well. (Just increase everything in proportion; I've done it a number of times.) Just mix the first four ingredients (lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, apricot liquer), then add the sparkling wine into each glass individually as you serve it. (The garnish being garnish, it's not necessary, especially if you are serving this as a punch.) I'd recommend making a large block of ice for the punch bowl to minimize melting.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:03 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Texas Tea - sweet iced tea with lime and tequila. I make a gallon of double strength iced tea - 6 tea bags in steeped in boiling water, then add 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lime (or lemon) juice, when dissolved add water/ice to make one gallon. For non-alcoholic iced tea I cut it in half with water, for alcoholic I add booze to taste and ice cubes. If you let people mix their own, you will have a non-alcoholic drink, and you can let people choose their liquor, i.e. add bourbon for Kentucky Tea, Gin for English Tea, Rum for Caribbean Tea, Vodka for Russian Tea...
I like Gin (especially Old Tom style or an American Gin) with cranberry juice, Campari and a touch of Triple Sec with lots of ice (warning - you can go really light on cranberry i.e none, and still have something very drinkable, but one big glass on a hot day is just as incapacitating as a Hunter S. Thompson-style hit of ether).
posted by 445supermag at 4:11 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The David Wondrich Punch Book is lovely.

I made a big bowl of regents punch for my wife's 30th. It was a mix of (1) Bitter Orange (2) Lemons and (2) sweet oranges peeled and muddled with 4 oz of Sugar. Once you've basically extracted the oils from the peels you add a pint of hot green tea and dissolve the sugar. The juices from those fruits are then added. To this mix you add 8 oz of reasonably priced cognac, 2 oz of Dark Rum (recipe calls for Smith&Cross but any dark rum would ok I think) and 2 oz of Batavia Arrack (which I would sub with like rhum agricole or cahaca or pisco, or just plain white run if you need to) and 2 oz of Maraschino. Strain that and chill. Once its cold, or the next day pour into you punch bowl, add your big chunk of ice and top with two bottles of "champagne" - make sure you use something fairly dry otherwise it'll be too sweet.

That is one delicious punch.
posted by JPD at 4:27 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Perfect occasion for a Pimm's Cup. The English really get this one right.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:13 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

You've got all that Prosecco - perhaps one of these 10 summery sparkling-wine drinks would suit you and your available fruits/ingredients? This Watermelon Champagne punch sounds good, too.
posted by aimedwander at 6:19 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I made this Peach Sangria from CHOW (where I work, in the interest of disclosure) for a party recently, and it was lovely. It would be a little less sweet with prosecco than with the Moscato it calls for. It would use your peach nectar and your prosecco, and might be nice with a tot of your passionfruit syrup in place of the peach liquer if you wanted to make it somewhat less boozy and use more of your on-hand ingredients.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:02 AM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

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