Saturday, December 12, 2015

'Tis the Season to Indulge

Good Morning Readers! 

How is everyone's holiday season? I hope you aren't spending too much time rushing around and you are able to stop and enjoy this wonderful time. December has got to be one of my favorite months of the year. I love warm sweaters, cuddling under blankets and sipping cocoa while listening to the Nat King Cole Christmas Album. I also spend a good amount of time baking and decorating my house for the season.

This is also the time of year where it becomes almost impossible not to give into temptation and satisfy my strong appetite for good food and drink. Especially with all of the parties and family gatherings. It is a time of celebration, a time for us to reflect on the past year and anticipate what is to come, I just adore it all!  That being said one of my favorite things to do during this season is to create holiday appropriate cocktails. I would love to share with you one of my favorite creations so you can be festive and maybe share this treat with your family and friends this year.

Cranberry Pisco Punch

I have always found pisco intriguing. Pisco's history dates back to the 1500's when the Spanish conquistadors invaded Peru and started importing and growing grapes. It is very similar to a brandy but it is almost colorless and it provides a bit more weight on your tongue than the average brandy made in Europe. The flavor of pisco is a lot more subtle than brandy as well, because it is not aged it tends to give off a more white rum like flavor. I thought because most holiday drinks or usually made with brandy or rum I would think a bit outside of the box and create a pisco cocktail. Pisco punch is a traditional cocktail in South America. It typically consists of pineapple juice, a citrus juice, simple syrup and whole fruit for floating. I wanted to take inspiration from this but incorporate the flavors of the season.

Cranberry Syrup

4 C. raw cranberries
1 C. Sugar
1 1/4 C. Water
1 pinch salt
1 T lemon juice

Add cranberries, sugar and water to a large sauce pan. Cook until the cranberries start to pop open and the syrup begins to thicken and turn red. Take off the heat add the lemon juice and salt, stir and then run it through a chinois strainer to remove the cooked cranberry. Reserve the syrup in a air tight jar and cool completely.

Pisco Punch 

1 bottle Peruvian pisco
1/4 bottle of your favorite bitters, I am partial to the Jack Rudy bitters because it is filled with great aromatics without it being too heavy on the cinnamon or cloves, but it is up to you as to what you want as your main warm spices
1 batch of your cranberry syrup
1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
1 can of club soda or sparkling water
1 C. lemon juice
lemon slices and raw cranberries for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Float the fruit on top of the punch.

This punch is perfect addition to any holiday party. It really encompasses the flavors of the season.
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