Peaches N' Cream Punch
Punch is much more than the stuff of rowdy uni parties gone awry or tragic all-inclusive tropical resorts. It is, in fact, thought to be the precursor to the modern cocktail, first appearing in the 1630s, somewhere in Southeast Asia. Initially conceived as a way to tame the ferociousness of arrack and other local distillates with citrus, sugar, spices and water, the communal thirst-quencher made its way back to Europe and the American colonies thanks to traders. Other spirits, such as brandy and rum, eventually took the place of arrack, with Champagne, wine or sherry sometimes added for impact.
While it has fallen in and out of fashion over the years, punch has endured because no other drink embodies the art of entertaining quite like it. It’s a testament to the power of the shared experience, with no shortage of theatricality or any hard-and-fast rules to play by. In this variation, Shirley Yeung – bar manager of celebrated Perth cocktail haunt Foxtrot Unicorn – takes a thoroughly refreshing approach to the so-called ‘Flowing Bowl’ by levelling up a gin spritz with the vinegary tickle of a stone fruit shrub. Shortcuts are out of the question when so few ingredients are involved, so invest in the best seasonal produce you can find to really get the party started.
This recipe is based on a simple gin spritz with a slightly easier mixture of ingredients to put together.
600ml Gin (preferably Old Youngs 1829 gin or Republic of Fremantle Aromatic Gin)
400ml 666 Butter Vodka
200ml lemon juice
1 tsp grapefruit bitters, preferably Australian Bitters Co.
Equal parts Prosecco and soda to top
Stone fruit, berries and mint, to garnish, as desired
STONE FRUIT SHRUB
500g ripe stone fruit of choice (peaches are usually great, but you can use whatever you like)
500g white caster sugar
Apple cider vinegar (about 300-400ml, depending on how sweet the fruit is. You may want to use more or less accordingly)
1. For the stone fruit shrub combine fruit to sugar (equal ratios) in a non-reactive container; cut up fruit into slices and pour sugar over the top - do not mix it, let the sugar sit on top. The juices from the fruit will infuse into the sugar. A vaccum sealing in a bag works best or else place into an airtight container and leave in a warm place overnight or else in the fridge for up to 2-4 days (until sugar dissolves 80%).
2. Place the whole mix into a blender and blend everything together until all mixed, and leave to strain until liquid comes out clear - will take an hour or so and mix if required. Once liquid is strained, measure out equal amount of apple cider vinger and mix together - and there's the shrub!
3. To serve the punch, combine ingredients and 400ml stonefruit shrub in a punch bowl or jug (whatever vessel of choosing), add ice and serve with some stone fruit, berries and mint on top.
N O T E
For just one drink use 30ml Gin, 20ml Vodka, 20ml stone fruit shrub, 10ml Lemon juice, 2 x dashes grapefruit bitters and equal part Prosecco and Soda to top.
Words by Matty Hirsch. Recipe by Shirley Yeung. Image by Eatable.