Holiday Punch Bowl

Monday, December 29, 2008

A tasty punch or a rich egg nog is the life of many a holiday party! Get tips on how to make the most delicious holiday drinks. Writer, mixologist, and cocktail historian David Wondrich is author of the book Imbibe! He's also written an article on punch for the Dec. issue of Saveur magazine called "With Glasses Raised."

What's your favorite holiday drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic? Share the recipe if you have it.


David Wondrich

Comments [23]

B. C. from Manhattan

Did anyone catch the headlines today? 350 dead and counting.. Now back to something trivial and distracting. Wake up folks.

Dec. 29 2008 07:57 PM
Nina from East Village

Best egg nog ever is Craig Claiborne's:
Not for uptight dieters! This stuff is so rich you have to eat it with a spoon.

Dec. 29 2008 02:05 PM
hjs from 11211

my germans made Gluwien from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, citrus and sugar, but yours sounds more fun

Dec. 29 2008 01:52 PM
Cliff from Clinton

I know its hard to get real absinthe in the US, but have you heard of any Punches where Absinthe is used?

Dec. 29 2008 01:52 PM
mary p from downtown

vodka and hibicus tea and lemonade -mmmmm

and if you add Bailey's to Irish Coffee it's a Warm Fussy Irishman

when I was a waitress at a Jazz club on the Bowery in the 70's with less than adequate heating we served lots of hot buttered rum and a Thomas Toddy named after Leon Thomas who drank it year round. Grand Marnier, lemon Martel and hot water I think it was....

Dec. 29 2008 01:51 PM
Barbara from New Jersey

Just saw a comment re: coquito -- not sure how authentic the recipe is, but found one that was easy to make and certainly puts to shame any commercially-produced eggnog in the stores. (I tasted coquito years ago and wished I had asked for the recipe then...)

COQUITO (Puerto-Rican eggnog)

8 cinnamon sticks
3 cans evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can cream of coconut
6 eggs, separated
1 cup white rum

Boil cinnamon sticks in 1 cup water for 15 minutes, let cool off. You should have 1/2 cup liquid left over.

Mix all canned milks and cream of coconut in large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolks and blend thoroughly. Add cinnamon water and cinnamon sticks, then rum. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into rest of mixture.

Pour into container and refrigerate overnight. Makes about 1/2 gallon and keeps well!

Dec. 29 2008 01:50 PM
Patrice from manhattan

In Jamaica we make 'Sorrel' at Christmastime. We allow the sorrel leaves to steep in hot water (usually overnight), then add sugar, rum, pimento/allspice and maybe a little wine as well. As a child I was given sorrel minus rum, though.

Dec. 29 2008 01:48 PM
joli from Bloomfield NJ

We made Smoking Bishop this year--the classic Dickens recipe with baked fruit juice, red wine, cloves and port.

Dec. 29 2008 01:48 PM
hjs from 11211

sounds like sangria

Dec. 29 2008 01:48 PM
chefesse from brooklyn

Big debate about eggnog...the raw egg/samonella issue. Alcohol may retard the growth of micro-organisms, but does it "kill" them if they are there already?

Any comments?

Dec. 29 2008 01:48 PM
caroline from manhattan-uws

The most delicious recipe for egg nog was my great aunt Leland's from Wynne, Arkansas. We make it every year, wherever we happy to be for Christmas. It's rich and yet light and will convert non-believers.

12 eggs, separated
12 Tbsps sugar
1 quart bourbon (we used rye whiskey this year and it was great - less sweet)
1 gallon milk
1 pint heavy cream, whipped
fresh grated nutmeg

Separate eggs one at a time, reserving whites and beating each yolk with 1 tbsp sugar as it is added to a mixing bowl. Beat egg yolks and sugar well, then add bourbon. Stir in milk and transfer to large punch bowl; fold in whipped cream. Beat egg whites until peaks form; fold into mixture. Serve in punch cups or mugs topped with greshly grated nutmeg. Serves a crowd. We quartered it this year for the two of us and still drank it for 2 days!

Dec. 29 2008 01:41 PM
harry from queens

can you use ice cream?

Dec. 29 2008 01:36 PM
chefesse from brooklyn

Impromptu this past summer I made a winner punch with ingredients I had around: "tart cherry stomp" (I think that was the name) from red jacket orchards. I mixed it with triple sec and vodka (had them already in the fridge) champagne and seltzer.

Everyone sucked that baby down. I had to make a second batch with cranberry juice...not as yummy.

Dec. 29 2008 01:32 PM
Gustav Rech from manhattan

Being of German descent, we drank Gluwien for the holidays. Equal parts sherry and tawney port, a shot of whiskey, orange and lemon slices, and cinnamon sticks, all of which were heated up until the vapors could knock you over. I'm not sure if it tastes good, but after a glass one doesn't really care....

Dec. 29 2008 01:28 PM
antonio from park slope

i am nog sure why people didn't like that woman's grandmothers punch....

Dec. 29 2008 01:26 PM
Jacqueline Gilbert from Highland Park

sorry - the Punch Coco was in the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe)

Dec. 29 2008 01:26 PM
Jacqueline Gilbert from Highland Park

We've had wonderful cream based punches in the Caribbean: Coquito in Puerto Rico, Punch Coco (Coconut cream with alcohol and unusual spices).
These have been impossible to find in the US and we haven't been able to re-create them here.

Dec. 29 2008 01:23 PM
Tom from uws

The best punch I ever made included strong tea among the ingredients. It gave some ... punch to the mix.

Dec. 29 2008 01:19 PM
Ro from SoHo

I believe 'punch' derives from the Hindi word 'Panch' which means five. Punch originally contained only five ingredients.

I understand British sailors coined the word 'punch' meaning to hit with the fist from this beginning.

Dec. 29 2008 01:19 PM
Ana from Summit, NJ

I'm from Costa Rica and I remember us having eggnog during Christmas since I was a child. They didn't make it non-alcoholic back then, I think they still don't, so for kids it was restrited.
Now we get the non-alcochol one here but my mom insists that it makes her drowsy even though I tell her it has no alcohol. We have that argument every year.

Dec. 29 2008 01:18 PM
David! from NYC

oops! I'm glad I read my post. It's a 6-oz can of the lemonade and a 12-oz bottle/can of the ginger ale.

Dec. 29 2008 09:28 AM
David! from NYC

This is my stand-by punch for the holidays:

3 –ounce) 1 package cherry gelatin
3 cups cold water
1 cup boiling water
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate (12-ounce)
1 bottle chilled ginger ale
1 quart chilled cranberry juice cocktail

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add lemonade concentrate and stir to mix. Add remaining ingredients. This is good as-is, but it mixes very nicely with vodka, rum or gin.

IMO, it avoids the cardinal sin of a punch: it is not gaggingly sweet.

Dec. 29 2008 09:19 AM
Grace F. from upper westside, Man.

Soy silk egg nog is very good.

Dec. 23 2008 05:16 PM

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