With Fall hitting the bay and holiday party invites hitting your inbox, our farmers market-savvy friends at CUESA have once again tapped a mix of local bartenders to create seasonal libations for your drinking pleasure. This season, the cocktail list focuses on holiday punches, spiced drinks, and nogs — all of which would make excellent additions to your own holiday gathering.
The bartenders tapped for Wednesday's happy hour event at the Ferry Building include notable names from the Chapel, Novela, 15 Romolo, La Urbana, Rock Bar, and more. Tickets are $45 and include a couple of cocktails, tastings, hors d'oeuvres and recipes for all 13 drinks available.
For those of you playing along at home, the folks at CUESA have gone ahead and shared five concoctions with us so that everyone can have a seasonal punch recipe to kick off your pre-Thanksgiving dinner party. They are a little more complex than some of our previous recipes, but you can't put a price on being the life of the party. Enjoy:
John Paul DeCarlis, The Chapel
2 oz Breaking and Entering Bourbon
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz pink lemon juice
3/4 oz orange blossom honey syrup
1/4 oz water
A few slices of Pink Lady apple
Cinnamon stick to garnish
To make honey syrup: Combine honey and water in shaker and stir until the mixture is uniform. Add apple slices and muddle. Add B&E Bourbon, Fernet, lemon juice and a few cubes of ice. Shake well, fine strain and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Dillon Lockwood, Novella
Fall Harvest Punch
(Makes about 40-45 servings)
2 bottles (1.5 L) pür likör spice, blood orange liqueur
1 bottle (1L) Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
1 sugar pie pumpkin
4 hachiya persimmons (fully ripe)
1 ounce orange blossom honey
Peels from 10 oranges
4 ¼ cups sugar
2 L water
To make the oleo saccharum: Peel 10 oranges, leaving out most of the pith. Muddle orange peel with sugar and let stand for 30 minutes until fully macerated. Then in a separate bowl, juice 16 lemons to make about 1 liter. Combine lemon juice with oleo saccharum and dissolve sugar. (Ed Note: here are some more detailed directions on how to make it.)
Peel pumpkin and cut into large pieces. Blend persimmons and pumpkin with rum.
Combine all remaining ingredients, stir, and strain out solids.
Serve punch over rocks in the guest's glass or from a punch bowl with an ice block in it.
This punch is dangerously delicious and alarmingly autumnal.
Andrew Meltzer, 15 Romolo
Late Harvest Punch
To make a punch with 15-20 servings:
1 x 750mL bottle Persimmon/Pluot-infused Charbay Pomegranate Vodka*
1 750 mL dry sparkling wine (I’m using a Spanish Cava Rose)
8 oz Lillet Blanc
8 oz Pink Lemon juice
3-4 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
3-4 oz Charbay Pomegranate wine
2 lemons, cut in wheels, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl with a 1 quart block of ice. Add 16 oz cold water and up to one full 750mL bottle of dry sparkling wine. Taste everything as you build it. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon wheels.
To make the infused vodka: In a 1 quart container, combine 750mL Charbay Pomegranate Vodka with 2 persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced, and 3-4 dried pluots. Store in a cool, dark space for 24 hours. Strain off vodka, re-bottle, and store in a cool, dark place.
Alternatively, you can make a single drink:
1 1/2oz Persimmon/Pluot-infused Charbay Pomegranate Vodka*
5 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Pink Lemon juice
1/4 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
1/4 oz Charbay Pomegranate wine
Shake, strain, top with sparkling wine (Meltzer likes a Spanish Cava Rose) and garnish with lemon peel and lavender.
Vita Simone, Kingston 11 and Sassafras Seagrass
The Sassy Kingston
1 1/2 oz Drambuie
1 oz Suerte reposado tequila
3/4 oz fresh Pomegranate juice
4 quarter inch slices of young ginger
1/2 oz Meyer lemon juice
3 pomegranate seeds for garnish
Muddle young ginger with lemon juice, add Drambuie, tequila & pomegranate juice.
Shake, double strain over rocks, garnish with pomegranate seeds on top
The Persimmon Regiment Punch
1 1/2 oz 209 gin
3/4 oz Persimmon mulling spice syrup* (adjust to taste)
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Pomegranate extract (Urquizo recommends Hidden Star Orchard’s pomegranate extract)
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a glass. Optional garnish: Grate cinnamon on top.
To make the Persimmon mulling spiced syrup: Use 2 cups sugar, one cup water, 1 pound persimmons cubed (about 3-4 persimmons) plus ½ cup mulling spice (cloves, allspice, nutmeg, orange rind).
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid thickens slightly. Strain into a seal tight jar. The remaining meat of the persimmons is nice to eat after being cooked in the mulling spice and sugar.
Adam Barr, Rock Bar
2 parts American Harvest Vodka, infused with wheat and quince
2 parts Chamomile Tea, blended with pink peppercorn
1 part Oleo Saccharum
1 part Meyer Lemon juice
To infuse the vodka: Infuse 3 wheat stalks, 1\2 cup toasted wheat berries, and 1 pound of fresh shredded quince into each liter American Harvest Vodka for 1 week. Strain when complete.
To make the oleo saccharum: Zest 10 Meyer lemons for each liter of American Harvest and combine zest with 1 pound demerara sugar in a standing mixer. Agitate for 5-10 min, remove, and drain to obtain oleo saccharum.
Prepare 1 liter of chamomile tea for each liter of American Harvest and chill. Then, in a blender, blend 1/4 cup of pink peppercorns into each liter of tea and strain.
Juice the zested Meyer lemons.
Combine infused American Harvest, tea, oleo saccharum, and lemon juice in a punch bowl. Chill and serve.
More info and tickets can be found on CUESA's site here.