Why It Works
- Vodka ups the alcohol in this punch without overpowering the other flavors, allowing the mint tea syrup and amaro to shine through.
- Mixing a big batch of everything except the citrus, club soda, and garnishes in advance makes serving this drink for a crowd easy.
Reprinted with permission from Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Don’t be afraid of the amaro in this crowd-pleasing punch recipe from Daniel Osborne of Bullard and Abigail Hall in Portland, Oregon. Montenegro is a faintly bitter Italian liqueur that accents the drink with orange peel, saffron, and vanilla. Note that you need full-bodied blanc vermouth, not dry vermouth, for balance here. If you prefer your cocktails tart, increase the lime juice as noted in the recipe; with a cup of lime juice, it’s a rich, floral, minty dream, while a bit more gives you a brighter edge. This is a drink worth multiplying to fill a big serving bowl.
- For the Mint Tea Syrup:
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (265ml) water
- 2 high-quality mint tea bags
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (215g) granulated sugar
- For the Punch:
- 1 cup (235ml) vodka
- 1 cup (235ml) Dolin blanc vermouth
- 1 cup (235ml) Amaro Montenegro
- 1 1/4 cups (295ml) chilled Mint Tea Syrup
- 1 cup (235ml) fresh lime juice
- 2/3 cup (155ml) chilled club soda
- 8 lime wheels, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lime juice (optional)
- 8 mint sprigs, for garnish
For the Mint Tea Syrup: In a small saucepan, bring water to a bare simmer over medium-high heat. As soon as you spot the first bubble, add tea bags, remove from heat, and let steep for 7 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add sugar to saucepan, return to medium-high heat, and stir constantly until completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool, then transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate until chilled, or for up to 1 week.
For the Punch: Up to 1 week before serving, pour vodka, vermouth, Amaro Montenegro, and chilled mint tea syrup into a 2-quart pitcher and stir to mix. Seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
Up to 2 hours before serving, prepare lime juice and stir into pitcher mix. Reseal and return to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
To serve, stir mixture well, then add chilled club soda and lime wheels. Fill pitcher with ice and stir gently until exterior of pitcher is cool. Taste a bit over ice and add up to 2 tablespoons lime juice, if desired, to adjust taste. Pour cocktail into ice-filled punch cups or rocks glasses and garnish each glass with a mint sprig.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The Mint Tea Syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance. The cocktail can be mixed (excluding the lime juice, club soda, and garnishes) up to 1 week in advance.