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Nothing says you’re serious about a holiday party more than a punch full of thoughtfully mixed booze. With ugly sweater season now in full swing, there’s no shortage of festive and fanciful recipes vying for your attention. Whether you’re looking to switch things up this year, or just add a fresh, new twist to a holiday classic, we’ve got you covered. These are three holiday punches to make now.
Craving a holiday sipper that’s light on its toes but still has depth? Erick Castro’s punch checks all the boxes. The co-founder of San Diego's Polite Provisions and Raised by Wolves describes it as “a blend of holiday flavors in a convivial and bubbly format.” It’s a great drink to take your holiday toast up a notch with.
Genever is known for its nutty and earthy flavor, as well as its full-bodied and malty quality. If you like scotch or mezcal, then you’ll most likely enjoy genever, but Castro says that’s not the only appeal of this festive holiday punch. “While the recipe calls for genever, which results in a malt-accented beverage rich with baking spice, the beauty of the drink is that it works with virtually any spirit imaginable, he says. “This comes in handy around the holidays, because after you make two or three of these with the family, the recipe still works even once you run out of genever.”
This seasonal stunner is the work of Shawn Chen, the beverage director of Decoy and RedFarm, two modern Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. He calls it the “ultimate holiday cocktail made to please a thirsty crowd,” with flavors inspired by seasonal ingredients, specifically “ginger, cranberry sauce and lots of booze.” Although the punch touts tequila, Chen champions the recipe’s versatility. “You can serve this with any spirit of your choice, and it would be equally delicious."
Jamaican rum is on the rise, which is no surprise to Ian Burrell, also known as The Rum Ambassador, who created the world’s first rum festival. He cites the implementation of a G.I. label (or geographical indicator) that ensures bottles adhere to specific rules and regulations when being produced, similar to cognac and Champagne.
“This is great news for authentic Jamaican rums, which take pride in their big, robust, spicy and aromatic flavors that are the base of any good rum punch or fruity cocktail,” says Burrell. He offers his very own punch as an homage to the spirit. “It’s a drink for all occasions, especially holidays,” he says. Its brightness comes from a combination of fresh fruit juices, making it the perfect choice for savory food.