Still a favorite for the holidays: an opening-party holiday drink from Mira Evnine of quarterly cookbook series Sweets & Bitters. She came up with this easy-to-make, citrus-spiked Winter Market Punch that’s not only delicious but also a perfect accompaniment to snowy weather. (We served it up at our New York holiday market years back.)
Punch, as Mira points out, is ideal for big parties: “Your guests can help themselves to as much as they like, while you visit with them instead of fussing over drinks.” Here’s her recipe.
Winter Market Punch (adapted from David Wondrich)
Makes 24 (three-ounce) servings
- 4 lemons
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained
- 750 milliliter bottle vodka
- 1 quart cold water
- Nutmeg (for garnish)
You can vary this simple recipe with whatever citrus strikes your fancy—clementines, blood oranges, Meyer lemons—or embellish it with a sprig of rosemary or handful of coriander seeds. Just keep in mind that if you use grapefruit or orange, you’ll need to adjust the balance of sweet and sour to taste.
Photography by Liz Clayman.
1. Peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler. Put the peels in a glass jar and add the sugar. Seal, shake, and leave overnight.
2. Add the lemon juice to the sugar-peel mix, seal, and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour the mixture into a one-gallon punch bowl. Add the vodka and cold water.
4. If serving immediately, add a quart of ice cubes; if the punch is to be ladled out slowly, add a one-quart block of ice instead. Grate nutmeg over the top, and ladle out in three-ounce servings.
For more on Sweets & Bitters, see our Gardenista post Required Reading: Sweets & Bitters Quarterly.
Looking for holiday entertaining ideas? Have a look at 5 Quick Fixes: Holiday Entertaining Prep.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 24, 2013, as part of our Winter Wonderland issue.