Sunday, May 24, 2015

amaretto bourbon punch

Amaretto Bourbon Punch 04

It's Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps you, like me, headed to the grocery store with intentions of merrily traversing the aisles, filling your cart with a supply of ingredients that would keep you cooking, baking, and grilling all weekend. But unlike me, I hope you did not wait until late Friday afternoon to make that trip, finding yourself trying to maneuver between extra-wide stock carts and the seemingly several hundred other people in the store. If you did, then I'm sorry, and you likely emerged an hour and a half later and in serious need of a drink. This post is for you.

Amaretto Bourbon Punch 03

I'm a fan of good craft cocktails, but I'll admit that when it comes to making them myself, I often get stuck in a rut, making the same few over and over again. This amaretto bourbon punch was a delightfully refreshing change. (And, bonus, it made use of my Costco-awesome giant bottle of Knob Creek bourbon.) It's perfect for sipping during summer day gatherings and easy enough to make for a crowd if needed.

Note:  When making cocktails, I prefer to add my liquor prior to putting ice cubes in the glass. It gives me a better understanding of how much liquor I'm using and generally improves my ability to accurately free-pour when a jigger isn't available. If this isn't a concern for you, feel free to go the more traditional route and add ice cubes first.

Amaretto Bourbon Punch 01

Amaretto Bourbon Punch
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
Yields 1 cocktail

(For punch bowl proportions, click here, but note that I made adjustments to the single-glass recipe below, so taste and adjust accordingly.)

Simple Syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

2 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 ounces sparkling apple juice
3/4 ounce amaretto
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons simple syrup
Ice cubes
Sparkling seltzer water, to top
Garnish:  Maraschino cherry and lemon wedge

To make the simple syrup:
Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly and until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Syrup may be stored covered in the refrigerator for a week.

To make the cocktail:
Add the bourbon, sparkling apple juice, amaretto, and lemon juice to a cocktail glass. Add 1 teaspoon of simple syrup. Fill the glass 3/4 full with ice cubes. Top off with seltzer and stir lightly. Taste and add 1 additional teaspoon of simple syrup if you desire a sweeter cocktail. Garnish with a cherry and a lemon wedge.

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