The Sweeter Welcome Punch
Adapted from "Champagne Cocktails: 50 Cork-Popping Concoctions & Scintillating Sparklers" by A. J. Rathbun
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 cups Aperol, chilled
- 3 cups gin, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups Punt e Mes, chilled
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 medium lemons), chilled
- 3 (750-milliliter) bottles Brachetto d’Acqui, chilled
- 1 ice block
- 1Using 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.
- 2Add 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.
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