Rye adds a distinct kick to the other soothing flavors like apple, ginger, and fennel in this winter punch from Fino in Austin, Texas. Bergamot tea is the clean, earthy base that ties the flavors together.
Note: To make rich simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 2 cups sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Rich simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator indefinitely
- For the Fennel Syrup:
- 1/4 cup toasted fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel pollen
- 1 1/2 cups rich simple syrup (see note above)
- For the Bergamot Shrub:
- Peeled zest and 6 ounces fresh juice from 6 lemons (yellow part of zest only, in strips)
- 2 ounces raw sugar
- 6 ounces fennel syrup
- 4 teaspoons loose bergamot tea leaves
- 3 cups hot water
- For the Punch:
- 25 ounces Rittenhouse rye
- 29 ounces Stone's ginger wine
- 17 ounces Bergamot shrub
- 17 ounces Schönauer apple liqueur
- 1/4 ounce apple bitters, such as Bar Keep
For the Fennel Syrup: combine the fennel seeds, pollen, and rich simple syrup in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes but do not allow the syrup to boil. Allow syrup to cool and store in an airtight container. Syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least 1 week.
For the Shrub: combine lemon zest and raw sugar in a sturdy bowl and muddle until mixture is a rough paste, about 2 minutes. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and muddle for another 5 minutes until a thick syrup is extracted from the rinds. Add 6 ounces fennel syrup and stir to combine.
Brew the tea leaves in 3 cups hot water for 5 minutes. Add brewed tea to the lemon/fennel mixture and stir well. Let sit 5 minutes, then strain out solids through a fine mesh strainer and store the shrub in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, if not using immediately.
To make the punch, combine rye, ginger wine, shrub, apple liqueur, lemon juice, and apple bitters in an airtight container. Allow to chill overnight. Pour into punch bowl or pitcher, serve in ice-filled glasses.