Featured Cocktail: Punch
This week’s featured cocktail is…PUNCH. I know, it’s more of a category than a cocktail, but I want to take just a minute here to review exactly how easy it is to make a great, tea-based punch in the classic style.
Instead of a recipe, we’re going to offer a ratio, and this is the golden rule we follow with very minimal divergence when we’re putting together a punch for friends and family. The ratio is 4:2:1:1 Water (or tea, in this case) to Spirits, to Sugar, to Citrus. We’ll unpack that ratio in a second, but first, here’s the most important thing to keep in mind.
Selecting Your Constant
When you’re dealing with a ratio instead of a set measurement, you need to pick your anchor point. What’s going to be the one ingredient that you want to set as the standard that everything else must react to?
In this case, we find it easy to use a standard, 750ml (or 25 oz) bottle of spirits as your anchor. That way, you go to the store, pick up your spirit, and you know all you gotta do is dump that sucker without measuring.
So, if the “2” in the 4:2:1:1 ratio is 25 oz, then you know you’ll need 50 oz of tea…which is literally just 50 oz of water with the tea of your choice steeped in it. And then 12-13 oz of both citrus juice and a simple syrup. If you’re worried it won’t be sweet enough, go with a richer simple syrup…but most of the time, regular strength simple syrup is just fine.
Don’t Forget the Spice!
The last element in the punch equation is always spice. Traditionally, grated nutmeg is what’s called for, and that’s always a good call. But we’ve often found great applications for our cocktail bitters in these situations, since they’re essentially a highly curated profile of various herbs and spices.
For more information on batching cocktails like this, check out Episode 16 on Batched Cocktails, which has a whole bunch of great thoughts on punch and other large format drinks.