It’s pretty difficult to enjoy your guests, if you’re in the kitchen or behind the bar making drinks all day. The best solution is, to pull out your favourite spirit and make one big batch of a cocktail. The Cranberry Gin Punch will allow your guests to help themselves and then you get to enjoy the day and evening with them too.
Prep this batch beforehand for less stress on the day of entertaining. A traditional punch has a sense of immediacy about it. However, this needs prep the day before. I promise you it will be worth it 🙂 If you’re short on time, I have put some tips below 😉
First, I’ll go through the prep. Essentially what this is, is a gin based cocktail with cranberry, spice and ginger flavours.
These ingredients are for the Shrub or Sherbet as it is called – essentially juice of fruit acidulated with sugar. You can read all about the history of shrubs over on Difford’s Guide about how shrubs and sherbets were used to smuggle alcohol, as well as improve the taste.
Cranberry and Cinnamon Shrub
Serves 4 – 6
1 Cup of red wine vinegar
1 Cup of Castor Sugar
1 Cup of Fresh Cranberries
1 tblsp Cinnamon
Optional – 1/2 cup of Cranberry Juice
Add the Cranberries, Vinegar and Sugar and Cinnamon to a pan and simmer until the cranberries start to pop.
Remove from heat and soften with a muddler or back of a spoon.
Have a little taste. Here you can decide whether you prefer it more tart, sour or sweet. Adjust with more sugar or vinegar.
Strain the liquid through a sieve and into a jar, top with Cranberry Juice.
This can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or two.
Tip: In the essence of time, you could omit making the shrub and just heat some cranberry juice with a stick or two of cinnamon on the day and leave to cool.
The next bit of prep is your adorned ice cube for the punch bowl and separate ice cubes for the glasses.
Making Ice Cubes
Cool boiled water
Place all of the above into a bowl and top with water. Use a bowl that’s size will fit nicely into the middle of your punch bowl. This large block of ice will not only look beautiful and chill the drink but it won’t water it down. This is due to the larger the ice block, the slower it melts.
Use the left over ingredients and fill a tray for individual glasses.
Again, these being larger than normal, allow the drink to stay cooled without being watered down. Another, benefit is that your guests won’t get rosemary in their teeth 😉
Tip: If you’re in a hurry, normal ice will do just fine for both. Pop a slice of clementine into each glass.
Now that your fridge and freezer are stocked, let’s put this all together.
Make your Cranberry Gin Punch
1/2 Bottle Of your favourite Gin. A London Dry Gin would work great with this.
Large Ice Cube
Litre of Ginger Ale
Place your large cube in the middle of the bowl. Add Gin, Shrub and Ginger Ale.
Tip: If you need more kick you could add a few shots of Rum, Cognac or Brandy to this.
Give it a swirl and there you go.
Pop cubes into glasses and go grab the door, direct your guests to help themselves to a Cranberry Gin Cocktail.
Let me know if you try it and don’t forget to tag me @forcocktailsake on social media to say Cheers ?