Easy Peasy Drinks to Make for Thanksgiving and All Your Other Holiday Parties

DD's-Cider-Punch-1

It’s that time of year again. Not only is it Thanksgiving, it’s Thanksgiving during a election year, meaning that you’re probably feeling salty towards at least some of your friends and relatives or perhaps they’re feeling salty towards you! What will ease the anguish you’re experiencing as you mentally prepare yourself to share a meal with your loved ones?

A drink that’s what!

Ok, so now you realize you have to make drinks for a whole bunch of people, AND you’re feeling salty. What to do?

Keep it easy man! Today, I’m gonna give us a few large-format cocktails that will work for all the upcoming holiday parties and give you a lil peace of mind. Ready? Let’s go.

Modern-Old-Fashioned-1

Firstly, you could set up an Old Fashioned Station for your guests to help themselves. This is a great idea cause build-your-own-drinks tend to be a hit at parties! You could get a couple different kinds of spirits (Bourbon, Rye, Aged Rum, Apple Brandy, Añejo Tequila, Mezcal, Brandy, etc), different types of sweeteners or a mixer like the excellent Cocktail Crate Spiced Old Fashioned Mixer, an assortment of Bitters, garnishes and let the people do what they want!

Apple-Brandy-Prosecco

A sparkling wine cocktail: This one is easy cause you can batch your modifiers (like Apple Brandy + Cinnamon Syrup, Angostura Bitters) ahead of time, pour them into the glass and top with prosecco. Donezo!

Bottled-Negroni-1

Bottled Negroni: This one is almost a no-brainer. Make a bottle sized Negroni, let it hang out in the bottle for a few days and serve as an aperitivo. Super duper easy and the Negroni is a perfect drink to cut through all those heavy foods you’re about to consume.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-3

4. Punch. Duh. This is by far my fave format for large parties cause Punch is the most communal cocktail of them all. I’ve created many Punch recipes but my two favorites are…

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-1

Winfred Bumbry Punch: This Punch uses Irish Whiskey, two kinds of Rum, Ruby Port, Lemon Sherbet, and Nutmeg. It’s fabulously tasty and was a home run at last year’s Friendsgiving.

DD's-Cider-Punch-1

DD’s Cider Punch: this Punch features mulled apple cider, two kinds of Rum, Allspice Dram, Benedictine, and Lemon Sherbet. (If you haven’t noticed, Sherbet is essential in a proper punch.)

Punch!-Bottle-2

See, that was so easy! Cheers and hope y’all have loads of fun during the holidays!

 

Punch for Two with infused spirits from Ethan + Ashe & Alkemista

ethan-ashe-alkemista-1

Alright y’all, today I’m pretty pumped to be talking about a Kickstarter project from Ethan + Ashe!

“WHUT GURL? Kickstarter? You’re talking to us about something that doesn’t exist yet?” Yeah y’all, I’m talking about Alkemista, an infusion kit for all of us home bartenders and it’s a pretty brilliant idea!

ethan-ashe-alkemista-2

So what is Alkemista? It’s a bottle with an ultra fine filter built into it, you just add the booze, spices/herbs/citrus peels/etc and steep until it’s ready. Easy pea-sheezy.

Ethan & Ashe sent me a box with the following infusions:

All three bottles were pretty damn tasty, so I was like “Alright, I’m diggin this Alkemista idea. I shall put it into a Punch recipe!”

ethan-ashe-alkemista-3

I decided to make some Spiced Apple Cider Punch and tried a couple of versions with the Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon and the Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum. Turns out both spirits worked awesomely, so I’ll give you the recipe.

To Make the Cider:

  • 48 oz Apple Cider
  • 5 tbsp mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 long orange peel, star anise, peppercorn, 1 split vanilla bean
  1. Put everything in a pot and let it heat on lowwwwww for around 2 hrs. Don’t let it boil, only simmer.
  2. Strain through a cheesecloth, bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

Spiced Apple Cider Punch (for two)

  • 6 oz Spiced Cider
  • 1 oz Water
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 oz Black Denim Spice infused Bourbon or Cinnamon infused Starrr Rum
  • 1/4 tsp (2 Barspoons) Lemon Sherbet
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine Cider, Water, Ruby Port, and Lemon Sherbet in a pot and heat over lowwwwww heat. You don’t want it to get anywhere near boiling, just warm it up. When the punch is hot, add the Spirits and stir.

ethan-ashe-alkemista-4

Yummmmmmm. Feels like fall man.

Thanks to Ethan & Ashe for letting me be part of this awesome Alkemista Kickstarter campaign!

Winfred Bumbry Punch

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-3

Soooooo, woah. I feel like a whirlwind of things have happened! We returned from our holiday in Tulum, Mexico to Brooklyn and then it was Thanksgiving week which meant parties, parties, and feasting and several batches of Punch! AAAAAAAAAAH.

However, I would never complain about an opportunity to create a new Punch, especially not one with such exciting ingredients.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-1

I created this particular batch for a Friendsgiving party with some of my oldest friends. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met many wonderful people in Birmingham, AL where I lived for 10 years. I played in bands with these people, threw dance parties with these people, and they became my crew.

At one time or another, myself and some of these wonderful people moved here to NYC and now we’ve all been pretty tight for around a decade. We have a group text that has been named several ridiculous things (Autumn Boyfriends, Looty Sweater Clurb, 10 Red Dancing Lady emojis in a row), but is currently named Winfred Bumbry.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-5

Here are the cast of characters for Winfred Bumbry Punch: Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey + Smith & Cross make up my fave split base of all time. Ruby Port + Plantation Barbados 5 for length, greater depth, and cause Port is SO GREAT IN PUNCH. Lemon Sherbet cause I’m obsessed, LITERALLY OBSESSED with making classic Punches, and classic Punches frequently have Sherbet as an ingredient.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-4

Don’t forget the Nutmeg! It’s the only Punch garnish you’ll ever need.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-6

There were 7 people at our Friendsgiving party and we drank ALL the Punch. ALLLLLL OF IT. But hey, my friends are big drinkers so one could probably serve 8-9 people with this Punch.

Winfred Bumbry Punch

  • 1 1/2 Cups Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 Cups Navy Strength Rum (Preferably a blend of Demerara and Jamaican Rums)
  • 1 Cup Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 1 Cup Ruby Port
  • 1 1/2 Cups Lemon Sherbet
  • 6 cups Club Soda + 1 large Ice block* for the Punch bowl
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg
  • Glassware: Tea Cups or Punch cups

Combine Whiskey, Rums, Port, and Lemon Sherbet in an airtight container. Stir ingredients and chill for a few hours or overnight. When serving, add an Ice block and Club Soda to Punch bowl. Grate Nutmeg over the top of the Punch bowl and serve.

*You could freeze water in a Quart size tupperware overnight and use that as the Ice block if you don’t need to be fancy. Personally, I don’t need to be fancy.

Winfred-Bumbry-Punch-2

Cheers to all y’alls Holiday Parties!

 

 

DD’s Cider Punch

DD's-Cider-Punch-1

It’s that spoooooky time of year! The time for sizzling dishes, ghoulish wishes, and festive gatherings. Seriously, if you’re throwing any kind of Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos/Harvest/I Love Autumn party, you can’t go wrong with Hot Apple Cider Punch!

I created this Punch last Friday for a party my illustrious girlfriend was attending that night. Being deep into Apple season, we decided go to with Apple Cider as the base and Rum as the main spirit. Let’s jump into the recipe.

DD's-Cider-Punch-3

You’ll need spices. I recommend getting Mulling Spices that contain Allspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Cloves, Black Peppercorn, and Orange peel.

DD's-Cider-Punch-4

You’ll need spiced liqueurs. I wanted to pump up the Allspice, so I included some St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. Then I wanted to add the luxurious sensuality of Bénédictine D.O.M. which has notes of honey, citrus, saffron, cardamom, ginger, and is super silky.

Lemon Sherbet

You’ll need Lemon Sherbet. You’re so shocked right? Unheard of that I would use Lemon Sherbet in a recipe.

Why Lemon Sherbet in Apple Cider? 1. It’s my fave ingredient right now. 2. Lemon gives the Punch some brightness and bite.

DD's-Cider-Punch-7

You’ll need a big pot, ceramic dutch oven, or Crockpot. Simmer baby, simmmmmer.

DD's-Cider-Punch-6

Everyone got their stuff ready? Awesome. (Note, the Lemon Sherbet isn’t in the photo cause I used it all!)

DD’s Cider Punch (serves 12*)

  • 70 oz Apple Cider**
  • 2 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • Mulling spices
  • 16 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Year Rum
  • 4 oz Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum
  • 6 oz Allspice Dram
  • 6 oz Bénédictine D.O.M.
  • Garnish: Clove studded Apple slices
  • Glassware: Mugs
  1. Combine Cider, Mulling spices and Sherbet in pot and heat until liquid begins to simmer, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to looooooow and simmer for around 40 mins, or until the Mulling Spices have done their thing. “Nice spice, man.”
  2. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting. Add Liqueurs, Spirits and heat until the Punch is hot enough to drink but nowhere near simmering/boiling. You don’t want to cook the Alcohol out of the Punch, just warm the Punch back up.
  3. Serve in Mugs with Clove studded Apple slices.

*This recipe will yeilds ~104 oz Punch (evaporation could occur), which means 12 of your friends can have ~8 oz of Punch each, that is unless they’re big drinkers…

**I started with 64 oz Cider, and thought the Punch was awesome. My girlfriend thought it might be too strong for her friends and asked that I dilute a bit. I added 6 more oz of Apple Cider for a total of 70 oz of Cider. Then it was perfect. Remember, always ask your customers what they like most.

DD's-Cider-Punch-2

Oh and y’all, these two Rums together, WOOOOOOOOO-eeeeeee. Killer combo! Both Plantation Barbados 5 and Hamilton Demerara 151 are in what I would call the “Smooth” category yet both have real depth of flavour without being too overpowering. If you’re using different Rums, I recommend staying in this category.

DD's-Cider-Punch-5

Cheers to you and all your holiday Party Punches!

Punch for Two: Liberties Punch

The-Liberties-Punch-4

Yeahhhhhhhh, now that it’s Punch for Two season, I’m just gonna keep rocking and rolling with these tasty recipes. Today’s Punch features the undeniably delicious Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey in a classic format. I’m drooling just looking at the photos.

The-Liberties-Punch-6

As we discussed in the last Punch for Two post, I’ve been reading the totally hilarious and immensely practical book Punch by David Wondrich. Therefore, I’m trying to keep things classic, keeping the garnishes to a minimum, and perhaps most importantly, adding WATER.

It also means that I worked up the courage to tweet David Wondrich and ask if he’d ever used Teeling Small Batch Whiskey in a Punch. (Cause y’all, that shit is aged in RUM CASKS! Perfect for Punch!)

He replied that he had not and wanted to know how it turned it out. Teeling also weighed in and wanted to know the results of a Small Batch Punch. HOWEVER, I don’t have the Small Batch right now, I have the Single Grain, and while I don’t YET have a recipe for that, I do have a recipe for this!

The-Liberties-Punch-3

Here are our cast of characters for this most libertarian of Punches: Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey, Ruby Port, Lemon Sherbet (if you haven’t made this by now, I’m not sure if we can still be friends…), and Bittermen’s utterly fantastic Elemakule Tiki Bitters.

The-Liberties-Punch-1

Liberties Punch for Two (yields 2-3 servings per person)

  • 4 1/2 oz Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey
  • 1 1/2 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 1/2 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • 2 dashes Tiki Bitters
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • Garnish: Lemon peels from the Oleo Saccharum

Combine ingredients in container and stir. Place in refrigerator for around an hour, til liquids have chilled. Serve in Punch cups with ice, garnish with Lemon peels from the Oleo Saccharum.

Yummmmmm. 🙂

The-Liberties-Punch-5

*I would like to point out that these three supporting elements make one of the best Punch bases I’ve tried.

Cheers to Teeling for their supremely delicious Whiskey and the Baddish Group for sending it to me.

Punch for Two: Oranje Punch

Punch!-Bottle-2

Welcome back to Punch For Two! It’s been awhile but let’s not pretend that we ever really forget about sharing a delicious tumbler of punch with our friends and loved ones! Also, it’s October. SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE Y’ALL.

Oranje-Punch-1

I’m pretty excited about this one cause it’s 1. Punch, 2. uses Lemon Sherbet, and 3. contains Denizen Merchant’s Reserve.

Oranje-Punch-3

When I started the Punch for Two Series last year, I will admit, I didn’t really have much of a clue about what I was doing. The ingredients were tasty, but I was approaching punch-making from a cocktail perspective. Yes, amateur at best and not the best way to create a Punch recipe. Forgive me!

(and now you say to the computer, “Home Bar Gurl, you are forgiiiiiven.”)

Oranje-Punch-4

Well, now I’ve read David Wondrich’s immortal book about Punch, and I’m creating Punch recipes with a more informed perspective. Therefore, two things are imperative: 1. that we add water to our Punch and 2. that we get our Nutmeg ready for grating!

Oranje-Punch-2

Here are the majestic ingredients. You’ll need to make sure you’ve got Lemon Sherbet  and DD Mix (or another Allspice + Cinnamon Mix) ready. I promise you, Lemon Sherbet will change your life and give your drinks so much more pizzaz. Pizzaz is a thing we like, right? YAS.

Oranje Punch for Two (yields 2-3 servings per person)

  • 4 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross (Optional, I wanted more heat & funk)
  • 1 1/2 oz DD Mix
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica
  • 2 oz fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Lemon Sherbet
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients and stir. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour. When serving, add ice, add Punch, and grate Nutmeg over each Punch cup.

Oranje-Punch-6

I swear to the stars, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve is phenomenal in Punch. Cheers to all y’all’s autumnal festivities!

Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry

Professor-Plum-1

Still rolling deep with that Lemon Sherbet, still trying to keep it real seasonal with a Gin + Plum drink! This cocktail is refreshing, has a great set of spices, and plum-a-liscious. Now all we need is that old box of Clue and we can get this party started.

Professor-Plum-5

For starters, you need to make Lemon Sherbet, my new fave ingredient. Head over here for the recipe. Next you need a nice, big, juicy, plum. Yum, bum, bum.  Then you can make a Lemon Plum Purée.

Lemon Plum Purée

  • 1 Plum, pitted, skinned, and sliced into chunks
  • 3/4 oz Sherbet

Combine ingredients in blender and purée until everything is swimming together nicely.

Professor-Plum-4

Then you need to grab a bottle of Old Tom Gin, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Amontillado Sherry, and a Cinnamon stick.

Professor Plum (in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry)

  • 1 3/4 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
  • 1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Lemon Plum Purée
  • Garnish: Cinnamon bark

Combine ingredients over ice and shake vigorously. Dirty pour into Mule cup. Grate a bit of Cinnamon bark on top and garnish with the bark. Yummmm.

Professor-Plum-3

Not sure it was Professor Plum, in the Kitchen, with the bottle of Sherry? Well, then why is all of the Sherry gone?

Straw Eyes

Bonne Fête Nationale mes amis! I’ve chosen to feature this cocktail for Bastille Day because it is so very french: Herbaceous, sophisticated, a provençal dream. The combination of Calvados and Bonal gives loads of earthy terroir and is complimented by Lemon Sherbet and Celery Bitters.

Salut!

Straw-Eyes-1

Hottttt off the trails of being written about for Punch Magazine and with Lemon Sherbet, my new fave ingredient, in hand, I have a rip roaringly delicious Cocktail for y’all today! It’s autumnal, sort of sweet, vegetal, and dry all at the same time!

Here we go!

Straw-Eyes-3

Look at the colour! Feel the golden glory shimmering in your eyes!

Straw-Eyes-4

It’s mine, allll mine! My eyes have turned to Straw!

Straw-Eyes-5

So, in order to make this magical drink, you must first make Lemon Sherbet. I’ve been using it in nearly everything and I promise, it will change your Cocktail game. It will especially change your Punch game!

Next, you need Calvados (French Apple Brandy. American Apple Brandy will prob work, but will be less smooth), Bonal (an aperitif from France that I luv), and Celery Bitters (I like Scrappy’s Celery Bitters the most).

Straw Eyes

  • 2 oz Calvados
  • 1/4 oz Bonal Aperitif
  • 1/4-1/2 oz* Lemon Sherbet
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s Celery Bitters

Combine ingredients over ice and shake it like a rocket. Double strain into coupe, no garnish.

*This depends on how sweet you want the drink to be. The Lemon Sherbet can be overpowering so I’d say start with 1/4 oz.

Straw-Eyes-2

Yes, Kween, this is your early fall treat. Woooooo!