This holiday season, leave the muddling and measuring to the pros. If you're hosting the party this New Year's Eve, you've got one job and one job only: Keep the booze flowing. No one wants to wait while you try your hand at a single-batch pisco sour.
That's why we've asked New York bartender Pam Wiznitzer for her advice on how to deliver a full-flavored punch that isn't a headache to make—and won't leave your guests with one the next morning. She recommends saving the Champagne for the midnight toast and making a port-white tea punch bubbling with Prosecco and cranberry juice instead. Sound both easy and delicious? It is.
Now that your signature drink for the evening is taken care of, here are four tips that'll ensure you don't drop the ball when it comes to a festive New Year's punch.
① Embrace the low alcohol content.
You have to last until at least 12:01 a.m., so a lower ABV (and absence of hard alcohol) will help ensure you don't peak too soon.
② Choose your serving vessel wisely.
Sure, your mom always kept a punch bowl on hand, but this is (almost) 2017, so opt for a punch pitcher instead. Wiznitzer says this keeps your concoction more effervescent, as there's less surface area for the bubbles to dissolve.
③ Keep flavor in mind.
A batch of mystery jungle juice-esque liquid does not a punch make. You want to "link flavors that are compatible," says Wiznitzer, who combines Prosecco and port here, because both are grape-based products. She then adds tea to up the volume without diluting or dominating the other ingredients. As for the cranberry juice? "This punch is kind of a narcissistic drink of my own. I love cranberry and port during the holidays," she says.
④ Don't pigeonhole your punch.
"Sparkling wine is great throughout the entire year," Wiznitzer urges. December might be the obvious opportunity, but don't turn your back on bubbly once the temperature heats up. After all, that's what sparkling rosé is for.
Prosecco & Port Punch
Recipe adapted from Pam Wiznitzer, Seamstress, New York, NY
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
For the Sparkling Cranberry Punch:
16 ounces port
16 ounces white tea
12 ounces lemon juice
8 ounces cranberry juice
8 ounces simple syrup
Ice, for chilling
1 bottle (750 mL) Prosecco (preferably Ruffino Prosecco DOC)
Cranberries, for garnish
Lemon wheels, for garnish
1. Make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Set aside and allow the syrup to completely cool.
2. In a large punch bowl, mix together the port, white tea, juices, cooled simple syrup and ice. Add the Prosecco, stir lightly to avoid losing carbonation. Garnish with cranberries and lemon wheels, and serve in coupe glasses.