So you’re having a responsible, yet socially distanced gathering at your house for a few select people in your social bubble and you start to think about what they all should drink. And really with batching, cocktail kits and canned cocktails, to name a few ideas, there really are a lot of options.
But have you considered a punch?
This is the question that Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar want you to think about when they wrote their new book, Punch: Drinks To Make Friends With, which is set to be released later this month.
Now before you start to think that Punch just sounds a little too old fashioned, we’re here to tell you that these aren’t your grandma’s punch recipes. Not even close. These are fifty creative punches that Byrne and Tesar have created, based ingredients from different parts of the planet.
“The book is really a fun look at ingredients from around the world,” Tesar explained. “It’s really a journey into the ingredients from different regions through the lens of punch, via our interpretation. So they are definitely not your traditional, classical punch recipes”.
Basically, Tesar explains that each chapter of the book is based on a different continent and then each recipe is then the duo’s interpretation of drinking from different parts of those continents. “By no means is this an historical book. This is very much a fun spin on a punch.
And that spin on the punch family could easily take you through a Northern Rivers Punch from the Byron Bay area in Australia, across to a Crop Over Punch from America and then along the Themes for the Pimm’s punch, which was based on Tesar’s experience of going to the Henley Royal Regatta just outside of Oxford in the UK.”
“The Northern River Punch is probably one of my favourites at the moment,” Tesar said. “It’s a mix of native Finger Limes, Curacao, macadamia rum, condensed milk, orange juice and nut milk.
So, there’s certainly some ingredients that may need to be substituted. I mean you probably wouldn’t be able to get a native Finger Limes in the States, but luckily, we made sure that there are no hard and fast rules about what you need to have.”
And Tesar points out that in some cases, you don’t even necessarily need to have alcohol, as there are a number of ‘no-or-low’ alcohol options as well. “I think that as an industry, it’s something that we are certainly focused on. It’s not something that we should be excluding, there should be options for all. Not every occasion needs alcohol.”
But after the year we have all had, Tesar is the first today that what we do all need at any occasion is a renewed sense of community spirit and “punch really has a communal focus. “The idea of sharing something that’s a little bit extravagant is such a luxury. It’s like the drinks version of an elaborate cheeseboard. It’s the centrepiece of the gathering. And people love to mingle around it and enjoy it.”
Byre and Tesar will tell you that there is a punch for every occasion where people gather, everything from rowdy (although safe) style parties to refined celebrations. And these drinks guru should definitely know. If their names seem familiar you probably know them from their earlier book All Day Cocktails.
“I Australia at least, I think we’re going to see a very different dynamic this summer. I think we’ll see a lot more people maintaining the park gatherings that has been happening of late. I also think that there’ll be more focused on at-home family gathering. I think these kinds of recipes really play into that,” he said
Punch: Drinks To Make Friends With will be available through amazon.com from November 17th
*This story includes an affiliate link