Sparkling Whiskey Citrus Punch
Cocktails these days have become terribly individualistic. People feel the need to set themselves apart with complicated and esoteric drink orders. I get it – we all have opinions and stereotypes based on what’s in that glass. It’s become yet another social platform on which to judge one another.
This New Year’s Eve, however, I resolve to break down the walls between shared drinks. To fights over cocktail shakers and bottle openers, I say “no more”. This New Year’s, I will serve punch.
There’s something unifying and endearing about a bowl of punch. Punch says, “we’re in this together, come what may.” It’s a move towards solidarity. The punch is a gathering point, where friends can grab cups and ladle out great splashes of holiday cheer together. And what’s more, it’s all the rage right now. Culinary trend setters like Bon Appetit and Saveur are singing punch’s praises, so that’s enough to keep you trendiest friends content (and tipsy).
This punch has all of the flavor of an Old Fashioned, made juicier and bubblier. The fresh and tangy juice of mixed oranges and grapefruit play nicely with a hearty dose of whiskey. Aromatic bitters add warm holiday spice, and champagne lends a refreshing fizz that any New Year’s cocktail would be naked without.
Are you convinced yet? I know I am. But then, my belly is full of whiskey and fresh squeezed orange juice, so I’m easily impressed right now …
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 3/4 cup whiskey
- 9 dashes aromatic bitters
- 1/4 cup Citrus Honey Simple Syrup (see below)
- 2 cups champagne or sparkling white wine
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- zest of 1 orange*
- zest of 1 grapefruit
- In a pitcher or punch bowl, combine juices, whiskey, bitters, and simple syrup.
- Add several extra-large ice cubes and stir well to blend.
- Top with champagne.
- Serve over ice and enjoy!
- In a small saucepan, combine water, honey and zest.
- Bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Remove from heat and store, refrigerated, for at least 2 hours (or up to a day).
- Strain solids from syrup.
*When peeling the zest off of citrus fruits, be sure to avoid the bitter white pith.
This recipe will serve a rather small gathering - for larger parties, consider doubling the recipe.