HOLIDAY COCKTAIL TRADITIONS
| Photography Paul Versluis | Article Brandon Burke | Published KC Lifestyle Magazine
The holidays grant us with a unique opportunity to bring friends and family together. If your family is anything like mine, gathering around the dinner table to share a meal and a few cocktails is a revered tradition. Being the only person in my family with a cocktail background, I am constantly playing barkeeper when I would much rather be relaxing and enjoying one of my uncle Mark’s ridiculous stories. A few years back I introduced my family to the wonderful world of punch, and it has quickly blossomed into a tradition of its own.
Punch, although commonly thought of as non-alcoholic, was one of the first iterations of what would become the modern cocktail. British sailors created punch to make strong spirits more potable, but they quickly became an aristocratic luxury. The recipes almost always combine four main components: strong, sweet, sour and spice.
What started as a ploy to avoid bartending at all of my family gatherings has now become something that everyone looks forward to. We try different punch recipes every year and sometimes have three or four different punches on the table at a time. Since settling in Kansas City, I haven’t always been able to make it home for the holidays. Luckily, FaceTime and the ease of the recipes keeps our tradition alive.
Starting a punch tradition of your own is easier than you think, and you don’t need to be a cocktail expert by any means. It’s easy to find really ornate bowls these days at thrift stores or First Fridays. If you can’t find one, you can easily put your concoctions in a large pitcher or beverage dispenser. I like to keep the recipes as simple as possible, but I do have a few hints that seem to make a huge difference.
1) Once you have added your ingredients, stir with a few chunks of ice vigorously to chill and mix all of your ingredients.
2) Use large ice to keep your punch cold longer and minimize dilution. You can purchase expensive molds or just use whatever medium sized Tupperware you have lying around the house. Bonus points if you freeze fruit or herbs into the cubes.
3) Garnishes can add spice, aromatics and aesthetics. Get creative with them and personalize each bowl.
For small or large gatherings Cordial Craft Cocktail Co. is always willing to lend a helping hand. We can help with eight-person cocktail classes as well as 500-person corporate events. Our extensive seasonal cocktail menu and affordable pricing will ensure your holiday parties are never forgotten.
FESTIVE PUNCH BOWL RECIPES
Recipes serve six-to-eight people, serve from large punch bowl
10 oz. Repasado tequila
4 oz. lime juice
4 oz. grapefruit juice
4 oz. rosemary agave nectar
1 pinch of salt
top with club soda
garnish with rosemary and grapefruit
For rosemary agave nectar:
1 cup water
1 cup agave nectar
4-5 rosemary sprigs
simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes
FIG & THYME GIN & TONIC
10 oz. fig & thyme infused gin
20 oz. high quality tonic water (we like Fever Tree)
10 dashes of aromatic bitters
1/2 lime, squeezed and discarded
garnish with thyme sprig and mulling spices
For fig & thyme gin infusion:
1 bottle dry gin
2 cups fresh sliced figs
6 thyme sprigs
place ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for 3-4 days remove fig and thyme
POMEGRANATE MOSCOW MULE
10 oz. vodka
3 oz. cranberry juice
3 oz. pomegranate juice
14 oz. ginger beer
juice from one large lime
10 dashes of citrus bitters
garnish with cranberries and mint bouquets