This holiday season, Midnight Rambler’s cocktail menu celebrates family traditions: fruit cakes, Secret Santas, lotería nights… They’re also throwing back to a golden era of punches that recalls game nights by the fire and nostalgic charm. (Because punches are made ahead of time, they make entertaining a breeze for tipsy hosts.)
We asked Rambler’s cocktail expert, Gabe Sanchez, for his go-to punch that’s easy to make but tastes super impressive. It’s made with a truffle-washed bourbon, but you can easily substitute cognac, rye, or aged rum.
HERE WE GO A'TRUFFLING
2 cups truffle-washed bourbon
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups strawberry ume plum syrup
32 ounces sparkling wine or ginger beer (approximately 4 ounces per cocktail)
Edible flowers and lemon wheels for garnish
Add bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup to a pitcher. Stir well, refrigerate. Add ice to punch bowl (large cubes are chic!) and pour in the punch. Garnish with lemon wheels and edible flowers. To serve, add additional ice to traditional punch cups or high ball glasses. Set chilled sparkling wine and ginger beer next to the punch bowl and let your guests decide how strong they want their punch.
For The Truffle-Washed Bourbon
This is a bit of a process, but the squeeze is worth the juice.
1 750 ml bottle bourbon of your choice
2 1/2 tablespoons truffle oil
Add truffle oil to a saucepan and warm over low/medium heat. Pour bourbon into a plastic container and set next to the stove. When the oil is fairly hot, remove from heat and pour directly into the bourbon. Stir to incorporate. Cover with lid and place in the freezer. 24 hours later, remove the solid truffle oil layer from the bourbon. (It will look like a plate resting on top.) Strain the bourbon by slowly pouring it through a a funnel lined with a coffee filter. (This takes a little time.) Once filtered, pour into a nice glass bottle. Label, date, and keep refrigerated. Pro tip: You can substitute this for regular bourbon, especially in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. It’s the holidays; the decadence should hurt a little.
For The Strawberry Ume Syrup
You can find ume syrup in any specialty Asian market or order via Amazon.
2 pints fresh or frozen organic strawberries
1 bottle ume syrup
3/4 cup of water
Add all ingredients to blender and run for 4-5 minutes on medium setting until fully blended. (If your blender is small, work in batches.) Strain into a plastic container. Label and date. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 5 days.