Holiday entertaining can be stressful. Timing is everything if you want to spend any time with your guests. Manning the bar while you’re checking the oven and greeting guests can make even the calmest host feel like a circus juggler. Instead of offering a full bar consider serving a punch.
Punch was invented as a beer alternative in the 17th century by men working the ships for the British East India Company. These men were serious drinkers. Their pay included 10 pints of beer per shipman per day. When the ships reached the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean a little creativity was in order as the beer often spoiled. Large quantities of rum, juice and spices found ashore provided a tasty alternative to their quandary and punch was born!
While many still think of punch as something better left in the pages of a Victorian novel I’m here to tell you that made with quality ingredients it is delicious and hip. Top bartenders and cocktail guru’s including my favorite spirit historian David Wondrich are offering up recipes to satisfy cocktail snobs everywhere!
I dragged out my retro punch set to create this Port wine based holiday tipple that I hope you enjoy! It’s super tasty, easy and fun! Just sit back, relax and watch your guests dive in to a bowl overflowing with holiday cheer. Enjoy!
Sparkling Ruby Royale Punch
2 cups Graham’s 6 grapes Port
1/4 cup Amontillado sherry
1/4 cup Cointreau
2 chilled 750-ml bottles Gruet sparkling wine (you may sub your favorite Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend)
1 1/2 cups Armagnac
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 quart pineapple juice mixed with 2 cups water and frozen into cubes
1/2 cup superfine sugar
peel of 1 orange and 1 lemon cut in strips
sliced orange and lemon for garnish
Add peels to sugar and let sit for 2 hours, remove peels and add all ingredients except sparkling wine. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Add ice cubes, sparkling wine and ice cubes. Stir and garnish with orange and lemon.