Why It Works
- Waiting until shortly before serving to juice the citrus ensures its flavor is bright and fresh, not old and stale.
- Adding pre-chilled sparkling wine just before serving ensures it doesn't go flat, and keeps the punch nice and cold.
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.
It’s easy to welcome warm weather—and warm-weather entertaining season—when you have this simple, refreshing punch in hand. While Aperol is generally considered pretty mellow as bitter ingredients go, here it gets a fresh kick from a squeeze of grapefruit juice. Shannon Tebay Sidle of New York City’s Death and Co. brightens up the combination with a little lemon juice, sparkling wine, and piney gin. It’s a crowd-pleaser—and a host-pleaser too. Taste the punch before serving; if your sparkling wine has any sweetness, you may want to add an extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice.
- 2 cups (475ml) gin, such as Beefeater
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Aperol
- 3/4 cup (175ml) 1:1 simple syrup (see note)
- 3/4 cup (175ml) fresh lemon juice from about 3 lemons
- 3/4 cup (175ml) fresh pink grapefruit juice from about 1 pink grapefruit
- 1 1/2 cups (355ml) chilled dry sparkling wine
- 8 lemon or lime wedges, for serving
- 8 grapefruit wedges, for serving
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice, for adjusting the final drink's flavor (optional)
Up to 2 days before serving, pour gin, Aperol, and simple syrup into a 2-quart pitcher and stir to mix. If not serving immediately, seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
Up to 2 hours before serving, squeeze lemon and grapefruit juices and stir into pitcher mix. Reseal and return to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
To serve, fill pitcher with ice and stir gently until outside of pitcher is cool. Carefully add chilled sparkling wine to pitcher, along with citrus wedges, and stir gently once more. Taste for balance, adding up to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, if desired. Pour immediately into ice-filled rocks glasses and serve.
To make 1:1 simple syrup, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup very hot water in a resealable heatproof container, such as a mason jar, and stir to dissolve slightly. As soon as it’s cool enough to handle, seal container and shake until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool completely before use; refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Reserve any remaining simple syrup for another use (like another cocktail or sweetening iced tea or coffee, or lemonade).
Make-Ahead and Storage
The Aperol, gin, and simple syrup can be combined and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.