photo credit: Teri Lyn Fisher, for Cocktails for a Crowd
I know, it’s not even Christmas yet. But New Year’s Eve will be here soon enough, so I’m (re-)publishing one of my favorite celebratory punches. (PS, nothing wrong with serving this for Christmas eve either, if you choose.) Here’s why this is the drink for your New Year’s Eve bash:
1. It’s sparkling, and you know you need something bubbly for toasting at midnight.
2. Between the fancy block of ice and simple orange-wheel slices, It looks great in a punch bowl. But it’s easy to put together and difficult to screw up. If all else fails, just pour in more bubbly.
3. As the ice melts over the course of the evening, the punch mellows a bit, but never waters down (thank you, gin), so the party keeps going until Auld Lang Syne.
French 75 Punch
From Cocktails for a Crowd
Total Volume: 7 3/4 cups (without ice)
The French 75 is a classic cocktail usually made with cognac, though gin is sometimes substituted, and that’s the spirit I call for in this recipe. It typically isn’t served as a punch but works quite well in this format. Serve this fresh, fragrant variation at any occasion that calls for toasting.
A simple chunk of ice, such as one frozen in a loaf pan or bowl will suffice, but for a special, decorative touch, consider freezing orange wheels inside the ice.
16 ounces (2 cups) London dry gin
8 ounces (1 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 ounces (3/4 cup) simple syrup
1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
32 ounces (4 cups) dry champagne or other sparkling dry white wine, chilled
1 large ice block
8 orange wheels, for garnish
In a punch bowl, combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters and stir well.
Just before serving, pour in the champagne and stir gently. Add the ice and garnish with the orange wheels.
To serve, ladle into punch glasses.
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