A while ago I made a version of Alton Brown’s Cape Fear Punch for a party, but wasn’t really thrilled with the way it came out.
A friend invited us over for a party recently. When he mentioned that he had a bunch of Rye Whiskey, I thought I might remake/remodel the Cape Fear Punch using the more classic punch proportions/methods from my Hock Punch.
Cape Fear Punch (revisited)
3 Lemons, peeled
1 Orange, peeled
1 cup sugar
1 cup water, boiling
2 tsp Green Tea
1 tsp whole clove, crushed
1 tsp whole allspice, crushed
1 tsp whole coriander seed, crushed
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice 1 orange
375ml Rye Whiskey
375ml Sparkling Wine, chilled
500ml Carbonated Water, chilled
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Reserve peeled citrus. Combine Lemon Peels, Orange Peel, and sugar in a ziplock bag. Let sit for 24 hours, massaging occasionally. Steep tea and spices in boiling water and cool slightly. Pour into peel and sugar mixture and shake to dissolve sugar. Chill.
Strain spiced tea syrup into a punch bowl. Juice citrus and strain into punch bowl. Add Rye Whiskey, Sparkling Wine, and Sparkling Water. Taste and adjust dilution if necessary. It also doesn’t hurt to have a spare lemon around, in case you’d like your punch to be a bit more tart. Serves 4-8, depending on their level of thirst.
The mistakes I’ve seen in just about every modern punch I’ve tried are that the flavors are too concentrated and the punch is too boozy.
I believe this comes from applying the principles of super saturated paradigm of modern soft drinks and/or cocktails to Punch.
What you want from punch is for it to be “more-ish”.
Punch should be complex enough to be interesting, light enough that it doesn’t overwhelm the palate, and weak enough that it can be drunk as a session beverage.