Adapted from "Champagne Cocktails: 50 Cork-Popping Concoctions & Scintillating Sparklers" by A. J. Rathbun
Makes:About 4 1/2 quarts, or 36 (4-ounce) servings
The flavors of this fizzy punch are reminiscent of a classic Negroni cocktail. For a little effervescence and sweetness, bubbly Italian red wine is stirred into a mix of citrusy Aperol, herbal Punt e Mes, and gin. Serve this easy-to-make punch as an apéritif for your guests to sip on at your next dinner party.
What to buy: Aperol is a slightly bitter Italian spirit that has flavors of orange and rhubarb. It can be found in high-end liquor stores.
Punt e Mes is a classic red vermouth from Piedmont, Italy. The original secret recipe from 1870 is a balance of bitter and sweet. Try it in a Negroni or a Manhattan in place of the sweet vermouth.
Brachetto d’Acqui is an Italian red wine produced in the Piedmont region that is effervescent with a slightly sweet flavor.
Game plan: You can make the punch base through step 1 and chill it up to 8 hours ahead. Transfer it to a punch bowl and add the Brachetto when you’re ready to serve.
3 medium lemons
3 cupsAperol, chilled
3 cupsgin, chilled
1 1/2 cupsPunt e Mes, chilled
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 medium lemons), chilled
Using a vegetable peeler and being careful to avoid the white pith, remove the zest from the lemons in large strips. Place the zest in a 6-quart punch bowl. (Use the lemons for the juice in this punch or save them for another use.) Add the Aperol, gin, and Punt e Mes and stir gently to combine.
Add the lemon juice and gently stir in the Brachetto (do not overmix or your punch will be flat). Float the ice block in the punch and serve immediately.