What We’re Loving: Spirited Punches

by Gayle L. Squires on November 15, 2013

in Blog, Drinks, Featured, Holiday, Photo Essay, What We’re Loving

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I met Gayle at an Eat Boutique Holiday Market a few years back and we’ve kept in touch ever since. She has this bright perspective on food and drink, especially drink. And these punches are perfect for all that partying you’re doing soon, right? Thanks so much, Gayle! -Maggie 

We’re smack in the middle of November. Holiday music is piped into every grocery store, mall, and elevator. Streets and houses are atwinkle. And men everywhere are growing mustaches (here’s why). As Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s approach in rapid succession, you’re probably planning at least one family dinner or holiday party. We’ll spend weeks planning the menu, but many of us (you know who you are!) won’t think about drinks until a day or two before the guest arrive. When you find yourself in this situation, we suggest punch.

Punch, the name derived from the Hindi panch, meaning “five,” is traditionally a mix of five ingredients – alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spice. The definition we’re going to use here is a drink that can be prepared (mostly) in advance and poured into a large bowl or pitcher so your guests can serve themselves.

Check out a farmers market for inspiration. The Jim Dandy cocktail (photographed at top) builds upon a base of pears and pear nectar, with chai tea, ginger three ways (including lime ginger ice cubes), and a healthy splash of rum. {from The Boys Club}

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If you prefer apples, make sure to pick up fresh cider for a thyme-infused rum punch over ice or a hot mulled cider with cinnamon, vanilla, and orange. {from The Glitter Guide and Spicy Icecream, respectively}

For dramatic presentation, grab a gourd, scoop out its innards, and slip a bowl of pumpkin punch into its cavity. {from Honestly Yum}

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Warm drinks in front of a crackling fire are de rigeur to take off the chill, and hot buttered rum will set the mood for a hearty, decadent meal. Scoop butter that you’ve spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, into several glasses. Set them near the oven where you have simmering a pot of rum and water proportioned however you’d like. Let your guests ladle the rum into glasses, stir to dissolve the buttery spices, and warm themselves inside and out. {from Not Without Salt}

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If you’re dreaming of warmer climates, look towards citrus. Spike freshly squeezed orange juice with rum, ginger and cloves. {from Brit+Co}

Or go all out with orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and pineapple juice added to rum, Grand Marnier, and Amaretto. Top it off with a cranberry ice ring, and you have “jingle juice.” {from baked bree}

Photos by Mike, Caitlin, Lisa, Ashley, Anjelika, and Bree.

Eat Boutique  discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.

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Gayle L. Squires

is a food writer, recipe developer, and photographer, and lives in New York City via Boston, Philadelphia, and DC. Her favorite snack is a tart crunchy apple slathered with peanut butter. Her path to the culinary world is paved with tap shoes, a medical degree, business consulting, and travel. She's quite skilled at convincing chefs to give up their secret recipes.


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