This fizzy, vanilla-laced pineapple punch, created by Laura Newman of Mother of Pearl in NYC, tastes luxurious and complex, but is easy to batch in advance.
To make fresh pineapple juice without a juicer, cut your pineapples into chunks and whir them in the blender, then strain the purée through a fine-mesh strainer.
- For the Vanilla Simple Syrup:
- 2/3 cup (160ml) water
- 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
- 2 vanilla bean pods, split, seeds scraped
- For the Punch:
- 80 fresh mint leaves (from 2 to 3 large bunches)
- 3/4 cup Vanilla Simple Syrup (6 ounces; 180ml)
- 9 ounces (270ml) freshly squeezed pineapple juice (from about 2 medium ripe pineapples)
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed juice (6 ounces; 180ml) from about 6 limes
- 2 1/4 cups white rum (18 ounces; 540ml), such as Don Q Cristal
- 1 1/2 cups chilled dry sparkling wine (12 ounces; 360ml)
- Lime wheels, mint leaves, and large ice block or large ice cubes, for garnish
Make the Ice: At least 5 hours before you plan to serve the punch, freeze ice in large-cube trays or a large sealable container that can fit inside your serving vessel. If desired, line bottom of container with thinly sliced lime wheels before freezing.
For the Vanilla Simple Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a saucepan with vanilla pods and seeds. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Fine-strain into a resealable container, discarding pods. Syrup can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
For the Punch: Add mint and Vanilla Simple Syrup to a large measuring cup or bowl with a pour spout. Muddle gently to bruise mint and release flavor. Add pineapple juice, lime juice, and rum, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into serving vessel. Punch can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours at this point, or you can proceed immediately to step 4.
When ready to serve, stir again, then add chilled sparkling wine and ice block or large cubes. Garnish bowl with lime wheels and mint leaves and ladle punch into ice-filled glasses.
Muddler, fine-mesh strainer, 4-quart pitcher or punch bowl