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12.10.10 by  

Gin Punches with Street Cred

These 3 holiday concoctions, created by the experts, give your punch bowl a pro mixology feel. (Warning: They go down easy — keep grandma away from the mistletoe.)

If you’re not a pro bartender but would love to play one at your next party, hand-craft one of the three concoctions below, all developed by top mixologists. You can also use them as a basis for your own recipe riffing. Cheers!

1. From the mind of Charlotte Voisey. A drink that becomes the official cocktail of the event of all bartending events — Tales of the Cocktail — isn’t screwing around. This recipe is cool, crisp and memorable, if not completely achievable even for the mixology-challenged.

The Punch and Judy

Charlotte Voisey’s recipe, the official drink of 2008 Tales of the Cocktail.

  • 1 gin
  • 2 cognac
  • 1/2 white rum
  • 1 orange Curaçao
  • 4 pineapple juice
  • 1 fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh orange juice
  • 1 agave nectar
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 4 mint leaves, 1 lime wheel and freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
  1. Assemble all the ingredients except garnishes in a mixing glass with as much love and interest that is healthy (that is to say not in a obsessive fashion, but certainly passionate and perhaps as if you were preparing the drink for someone you respect, admire and love in a platonic fashion). No need to muddle the mint, just throw it in.
  2. Shake properly (hard) and strain over fresh ice in a highball glass. Place the lime wheel on top of the Punch and Judy; add a hearty sprinkle of ground nutmeg on the lime.

2. From the Death & Co. drink den. Serious Eats nabbed this recipe from Phil Ward whose bar is said to be the first in the country to revive the ceremony of punch service. That takes guts. And a few livers. We love the addition of the tea-infused sweet vermouth, which cranks up the flavor in other drinks (think manhattan).

Mother’s Ruin Punch

Created by Phil Ward for those who want hand-crafted punch.

  • 12 sugar cubes
  • 3 ounces soda water
  • 3 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 ounces tea-infused sweet vermouth*
  • 6 ounces fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 6 ounces Plymouth Gin
  • 9 ounces champagne
  • Large block ice (I find that a pint-sized tupperware container works quite well)
  1. Muddle together sugar cubes and soda water. Add the remaining ingredients. Serve in a punch bowl with a large block of ice.
  2. * For the tea-infused vermouth:
  3. Combine 4 teaspoons loose Harvest Moon Tea (this is a cinnamon/apple black tea; you can substitute other black tea if need be) with one 750-milliliter bottle of Carpano Antica vermouth; stir or shake to combine. Set aside for 1 1/2 hours, then strain.

3. From the sideboard of Junior Merino. The crew at Spire.com was cool enough to share the wealth — they originally published this truly memorable punch recipe, concocted by the Liquid Chef for a celebrity fundraiser. It’s got everything your guests want in a holiday drink: bubbly effervescence, balanced flavor and a backstory with talk value.

G’vine Orchid

The Liquid Chef’s answer to a holiday punch with bubbles, botanicals and citrus zing.

  • 1 1/2 ounces G’vine Gin
  • 1 1/2 ounces pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 ounces Möet & Chandon Brut Champagne
  • Orchid to garnish
  1. Put the pink grapefruit juice, St. Germain, syrup and G’vine in a shaker, add ice and shake.
  2. Serve in a highball glass. Before pouring the drink into the highball, add the champagne so that it mixes with the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with an orchid.

Freshen holiday cocktail garnish by using edible flowers. Photo: Spire.com