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The shining sun and warm temperatures mean garden parties and dreams of lazy afternoons. When entertaining a group, a bowl of punch is a festive way to please all attendees while keeping the host free to mingle. What about a punch for one on that lazy afternoon?
This recipe is easily batched to make a single drink as well as an entire punch bowl for a group. Pimm’s No. 1 is a British gin-based liqueur with a depth of herbal flavors. The classic Pimm’s Cup is a delicious and refreshing beverage, but you can easily put a spin on it with orange simple syrup. The orange flavor is going to be based around orange simple syrup to quickly bring a lot of flavor to the drink. If you reserved your first batch of orange simple syrup from making candied orange peels, you are already halfway there.
To up the orange flavor in the drink and punch, Aperol is the perfect addition. This Italian liqueur has a distinct orange flavor with a hint of bitterness and herbal-ness that will brighten your summertime drinks.
Citrus is an important component in punches, even more so than in regular cocktails. To make sure that the lemon flavor comes through as one of the most common cocktail ingredients, turn to both lemon vodka and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The lemon vodka may be made by infusing your own at home, or if in a pinch, by grabbing a bottle readily available at the liquor store. The lemon flavor in the vodka will help emulate some of the depth that usually accompanies a traditional punch. The lemon juice will soften the alcohol that has been added but help keep the drink refreshing.
The orange simple syrup serves to balance the acidity and tartness of the lemon juice while also adding the rich orange flavor. The simple syrup absorbed the orange oil from the peels while making the candied orange peels, and those oils lend their flavor, or essence, to the the simple syrup. This added depth of flavor is important to pull together the drink with minimal extra effort.
Finally, water is added to a punch because it does not benefit from the shaking or vigorous stirring that often accompanies a cocktail. Whenever you shake or stir a drink, you are adding water to the cocktail – the last and unsung ingredient. The water not only dilutes the drink slightly, but acts to bring the different flavors into balance by giving them room to mingle. Water harmonizes the tastes and tames the rough edges of any drink.
Extra Orange Simple Syrup
This enhanced orange simple syrup may be made immediately after reserving the simple syrup from the candied oranges. By adding additional orange juice, the orange flavor will be even more prominent. In the absence of the orange simple syrup, use water instead, double the amount of sugar, and add the peels of the orange you squeezed for the juice.
1 cup orange simple syrup
1 cup freshly squeezed and strained orange juice
1 cup sugar
Combine the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Strain the mixture into a container and keep refrigerated for up to a week. In the alternative, add a shot of 80 proof or better vodka and keep refrigerated for up to a month.
Orange Pimm’s Punch … For One
1.5 oz Pimm’s No. 1
.75 oz citrus vodka
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz extra orange simple syrup
.5oz lemon juice
2-3 dashes of orange bitters
Orange wheel, lemon wedge or candied orange peel to garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin two-thirds full of ice.
Shake vigorously to combine.
Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
Garnish with an orange slice, lemon wedge or candied orange peel.
Orange, refreshing, herbal and eminently sippable, this personal punch will carry you through your long, hot afternoons. If you have a big party coming up, you can batch this drink for a crowd.
Orange Pimm’s Punch …. For a Crowd
3 cups (1 bottle) Pimm’s No. 1
1.5 cups (½ Bottle) Aperol
1.5 cups (½ Bottle) citrus vodka
1.5 cups extra orange simple syrup
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
Orange wheels, lemon wheels or candied orange peels for garnish
In a large punch bowl, add the extra orange simple syrup, the Pimms, vodka and Aperol.
Stir to combine. Keep stirring until it combines.
Add the lemon juice and water.
Stir briefly to combine.
Joel DiPippa Is A Cocktailian And Lover Of Drinks. He Blogs About Cocktails, Food, And Menswear At SouthernAsh.Com.