When it comes to house parties, the punch bowl is a great way to flex your creative muscles beyond the realms of beers and wines. When presented in a large serving vessel (the fancier, the better) with lots of fruit and herbs, it serves as an eye-catching centrepiece to a buffet spread or a beverage table.
The roots of this particular recipe stem from a classic rum-based cocktail known as the Planter's Punch. While the rum has been switched out for two different aged spirits, the heart of this cocktail lies in its recipe which comes in the form of a poem, the essence of which is revealed below:
1 of sharp (lime)
2 of sweet (syrup or sugar)
3 of strong (spirit or mix of spirit and liqueurs)
4 of weak (water, soda water, something effervescent)
Based of this rough formulation for the drink, a party host can create a variety of drinks that's limited only by their liquor cabinet and imagination. Now that you're locked and loaded, go forth and make merry!
Here's how to make it
For the passionfruit syrup
1. Cut passionfruit in half and measure the volume of the collected juice, seeds and pulp. Add an equal volume of water and transfer to a large saucepot. Bring to a simmer and keep heated for 20-30 minutes.
2. Strain liquid mixture through a sieve, keep the strained liquid and discard the solids. Measure the volume of the liquid and add an equal amount of caster sugar by weight while still hot to ease dissolving of sugar. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Pass through a sieve and transfer to bottles for storage.
3. This recipe makes more passionfruit syrup than you need for the cocktail. Save the remaining syrup to make tasty fizzes or to pour over yoghurt.
For the cognac-tequila punch bowl
150ml fresh lemon juice
150ml fresh lime juice
400ml passionfruit syrup
350ml añejo tequila
Roughly 250ml of soda water or sparkling water
Slices of fresh orange, lemon, and lime, for garnish
1. In a large punch bowl, add the first five ingredients and mix well.
2. Add enough large cubed ice till the ice looks like icebergs in the sea (liquid fully saturated with ice).
3. Add soda water or sparkling water and give the punch a few mixes.
4. Add garnish, serve over more ice and more sliced fruit.
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