Sweater Weather Punch (Scotch and Cranberry Cocktail) Recipe

Sweater Weather Punch (Scotch and Cranberry Cocktail) Recipe

[Photograph: Emily Dryden]

This rosy red punch, created by Matthew McKinley Campbell of A Mano in San Francisco is made with unsweetened 100% cranberry juice and blended Scotch whisky. It smacks you with tartness and the drying tannins of real cranberry. This punch whirls with spices: It's gingery and cinnamon-y, with hidden herbs and a cleansing bitter edge. It requires one special ingredient: Becherovka, an herbal Czech digestive.The leftover Becherovka is also delicious in hot cider or cocoa.

Why It Works

  • Becherovka, a cinnamon-y herbal bitters from the Czech Republic, adds an automatically complex spice profile in a single pour.
  • Diluting the marmalade helps it blend smoothly into the other liquids.
  • Prebatching most of the drink cuts down on last-minute stress; adding citrus juices at the last minute ensures they won't oxidize before the height of the party.
  • Yield:Makes 12 servings
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:55 minutes plus one day freezing for ice block

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces (130ml) marmalade
  • 9 ounces (270ml) unsweetened 100% cranberry juice, such as Knudsen Just Cranberry
  • 12 ounces (360ml) oloroso sherry
  • 6 ounces (180ml) Becherovka (see note)
  • 6 ounces (180ml) blended Scotch
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 ounces (90ml) fresh juice from 3 lemons
  • 6 ounces (180ml) fresh juice from 3 to 4 oranges
  • Thinly sliced lemon wheels and whole cranberries, for garnish

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a small saucepan, bring 4 1/2 ounces (130ml) water to a boil over medium-high heat, then add marmalade and whisk until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and let cool. (If you prefer a punch without any orange bits in it, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.) Refrigerate in a sealed container up to 1 week.

  2. 2.

    At least 1 day before serving, make a large ice block by freezing water in a cake pan or Tupperware container that will fit in your punch bowl. Alternately, make several trays of large ice cubes. In addition, you'll want about 4 standard trays of ice cubes for serving.

  3. 3.

    In a 2 1/2- or 3-quart pitcher or other large container, stir together marmalade syrup, unsweetened cranberry juice, 8 ounces (240ml) water, sherry, Becherovka, and Scotch. The punch can be refrigerated, covered, up to 24 hours.

  4. 4.

    When ready to serve, stir punch well. Add salt, Angostura bitters, lemon juice, and orange juice and stir again. Pour into a large punch bowl and add ice block or large ice cubes. Garnish bowl with lemon wheels and cranberries. Ladle into ice-filled glasses to serve.