Botanical Punch Recipes
Put that mint and rosemary to work in these fruity punches, perfect for holiday entertaining.
Image courtesy of Pig and the Pearl
Named for the blackberry brambles that poke and stick, Pitchfork Punch is full of bourbon, blackberries and tea scented with a fresh mint syrup.
“If you’ve ever gathered wild blackberries, the name will make total sense to you,” Kelly Raines, general manager of Atlanta’s Pig and the Pearl, says of her Pitchfork Punch. “You don’t walk away from a blackberry patch without getting stabbed a few times.”
Thaw those frozen blackberries you stored towards the tail end of summer and muddle them with black tea, bourbon and a simple syrup made with fresh mint. “I am a whiskey girl from way back, so any excuse I can find to add bourbon to something is a win for me,” Raines says. “The bright citrus notes and tannin from the tea round out the sweetness of the berries and the mint takes just a little bit of the bite out of the bourbon.”
Courtesy of Kelly Raines, general manager of Pig and the Pearl in Atlanta, Georgia
For the mint syrup:
- 4 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Bring water to a boil and add sugar and mint. Remove from heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Let sit until cool and remove mint leaves.
For blackberry tea:
- 6 black tea bags
- 4 cups blackberries
- 1 ¾ quarts water
- 12 ounces bourbon
Bring water to a boil and add tea bags. Remove from heat and let steep for 6 minutes. Remove the bags and let the tea come to room temp. Muddle blackberries (You can use a bar muddler, but I have found that a potato masher is your best implement of destruction with this many berries). Pour the mint syrup, and the tea over the blackberries and stir together. Put into a sealed container and refrigerate overnight. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all solids. Add bourbon and serve. Express an orange peel over each glass of punch and use the peel as garnish along with a sprig of fresh mint.
Sparkling Grapefruit Punch
Winter may be a slow growing season in the rest of the country, but the citrus groves in California and Florida are going gangbusters. Got your hands on some fresh grapefruit? Pair it with a hearty herb like rosemary for a rum-licious winter punch from Sip and Savor: Drinks for Party and Porch by James T. Farmer III.
- ½ gallon fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 can ginger ale
- 1 cup rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows)
- 1 cup rum
- Additional sugar to taste
- 1 whole grapefruit, cut into rounds for garnish and floating in the serving piece
Rosemary simple syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4 stalks rosemary
Dissolve the sugar in water over medium heat, add rosemary and let steep 5-10 minutes. Remove rosemary and mix with other punch ingredients.
Add the syrup to the juice, stir and add ginger ale and grapefruit rounds. Serve over ice or chilled.