“Hey, quick question…”
I’m sure this happens to you all the time. A friend hosts a party. A week before, you get a text: “Hey – what alcohol should I buy for my party? There are X people coming.”
Oye. It’s a tough question because there is literally no right answer. Will there be beer and wine as well? Do you live close to public transportation? What do you have already? What are your preferences?
This recently happened to us, and we took it as an opportunity to simplify. Rather than suggesting the hosts splurge on a whole new home bar, we offered to bring a pitcher of a crowd-pleasing cocktail. They didn’t have to buy any booze, and we didn’t have to bring a birthday present. Win win!
MAKING THE COCKTAIL
This drink needed to be:
- Crowd-pleasing for folks who are not in the “craft cocktail” crowd
- Easy to transport
- Possible to serve in a drink dispenser (for simplicity)
After a bit of brainstorming, this cocktail was the result. A bit fancier than your average punch cocktail recipe, we used oleo saccharum to add flavor and sweetness. (But to be honest, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary – I think Chris just wanted to play with his vacuum sealer!)
HOW’D IT GO?
The punch was a hit! We did have to warn people though – it’s boozier than it tastes! (A good problem to have, in my opinion.)
- 18 oz Apple Maple Whiskey (We used Whiskey Girl)
- 12 oz Rooibos Chai Simple Syrup (See instructions below)
- 12 oz Lemon Juice
- 1 ea Oleo Saccharum from 12 lemons (See instructions below)
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters (Optional, per cocktail)
Rooibos Chai Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 tbsp Loose Rooibos Chai tea
- 12 ea Lemon Peels (The peels of 12 lemons)
- Open the vacuum sealed bag of Oleo Saccharum and pour in as much whiskey as will safely fit.
- Carefully agitate the bag to incorporate the syrup into the whiskey.
- Fine-strain the mixture over a large mixing container such as a punch bowl or drink dispenser.
- Add the Chai Simple Syrup and lemon juice and stir well.
- If you will serve later, put the mixture into the fridge and add 30% water. (Do not add ice when serving.) If you will serve immediately, add ice and serve.
- (Optional) garnish each glass with a few shakes of Angostura Bitters to top with color.
Rooibos Chai Simple Syrup
- Heat the water to boil. Remove from flame.
- Add the tea. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
- Fine-strain to remove the tea particles.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Chill completely before using
- Peel the lemons. Place the lemon peels in a vacuum seal bag.
- Add about ½ cup of sugar to the bag and shake well to distribute evenly.
- Vacuum seal the bag, carefully removing all air and sealing tightly.
- Let sit for approximately 8 hours. You will notice the sugar becoming wet with the oils of the lemon peels.