The easiest cocktail for the holidays: a large bowl of punch!

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Cocktails are, of course, ultra-celebratory, but the last thing you want is to be shaking all night while your guests order one cocktail after another from you. The solution? Make a large bowl punch. Just that little bit extra and yet very easy: that’s how we like it.

What exactly is punch?

In Cocktails with Victor – the cool cocktail book by Victor Abeln (the bartender of First Dates) – we read that punch can call itself the oldest mixed drink. The predecessor of all other cocktails so to speak. Its origins are in British India, and in Hindi punch means ‘five’. That refers to the number of ingredients.

Usually that comes down to: one part sour, two parts sweet, three parts liquor, four parts water and an addition of spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. You can already read between the lines: with this guideline you can come up with a hundred and one combinations. We like to think along with you.

The base: oleo saccharum

But first to the basics. That turns out to be oleo saccharum, at least if you really want to make the drink great, says Victor in his book. Oleo saccharum is a super concentrated oil made from the zest and juice of lemons and sugar.

It’s a bit of work (and above all a matter of patience: the oil needs to infuse for a minimum of four hours), but you only need a small amount and the citrus flavor it gives you that punch is unbeatable. Also handy: you can prepare oleo saccharum in advance and keep it in your fridge for at least a week. You can find a good recipe for it here .

Pigs & Punch cocktail

Just vary!

Have you ever had such a jar of oleo saccharum? Put its contents in a large bowl and add the rest of your ingredients. Rum, black tea, and nutmeg, for example, is a great combination (don’t forget the ice cubes!). Other tasty punch recipes are this Christmas punch with gin, prosecco, ginger and rosemary, this Earl Gray Bourbon punch or this cranberry rum punch ,

Jeroen Meus also has a delicious punch recipe with mandarins, Grand Marnier and cava . Basically you can just pick an ingredient you like and look for a punch recipe with it: chances are someone has come up with a recipe with it at some point. Yes: even that bottle of spirits that has been sitting in the back of your cupboard for years can also be given a cool destination.

Tips for your next punch party

  • Score a nice punch bowl and arrange several colorful glasses next to it. Online you will find the nicest punch bowls (like this one with flamingos !) and there is no shortage of colorful glassware .
  • Add some Angostura bitters to the bowl if you want: leave the choice to your guests whether they want to add this to their punch or not.
  • You can also put pieces of fruit on the table, for those who like it.

Source: Culy by
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