Punch is the ultimate party drink, whether it’s in a traditional punch bowl for holiday gatherings or made by the glass for smaller affairs, it’s hard to beat punch for entertaining.
This seasonal stunner is the work of Shawn Chen, the beverage director at Decoy and RedFarm, two modern Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. He calls it the “ultimate holiday cocktail made to please a thirsty crowd,” with flavors inspired by seasonal ingredients, specifically “ginger, cranberry sauce and lots of booze.” Those ingredients also happen to be pretty much in-season year-round. So while Chen’s Ginger Fever Punch is appropriate for winter holiday reveling, it would also work well for summer get-togethers and the like.
Although the Ginger Fever Punch calls for tequila—which complements the sweet, tart and earthy nature of pomegranate as well as the spice from ginger—Chen champions the recipe’s versatility. “You can serve this with any spirit, and it would be equally delicious," he says. Vodka would create a brighter, less spirited flavor profile while a spirit like brandy, rum or whiskey would give the punch a darker, more lush tone. Darker spirits can potentially raise the sweetness of the drink, especially rum, so be sure to taste for sugar content before making a big batch. If too sweet, pull back on the pomegranate juice.
The quantities below make one cocktail but can be multiplied to fill a punch bowl. If going large format, it’s advisable to keep the ginger beer separate from the punch and top each individual glass with it. For said ginger beer, Chen uses Fever-Tree, a brand of high-quality sodas popular amongst bartenders. These days we’re blessed with a plethora of ginger beer options on shelves, though. Those who want their punch with extra ginger spice can find it in brands like Bruce Cost, Q and Reed’s Extra Ginger.
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce pomegranate juice
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce goji ginger syrup*
- Fever-Tree ginger beer, to top
- Garnish: pomegranate seeds
- Garnish: grapefruit slice
- Garnish: rosemary sprig
Add the tequila, lime juice, pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice and goji simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Top with ginger beer.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, a grapefruit slice and a rosemary sprig.
*Goji ginger syrup: Add 4 ounces ginger juice, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon goji berries into a blender and blend at medium speed. Strain and pour into a sealed container. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.