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Wonderful punch for a holiday cocktail party. The Holiday Spice Syrup recipe makes 3 cups and can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The left overs can be used in a great drink recipe: December Stormy #146719 Recipe is by Eben Klemm, the supremely creative bar manager and mixologist at Pico, New York's most elegant Portuguese restaurant. Punch needs to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Holiday Spice Syrup
- 1 quart water
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 star anise pods
- 5 allspice berries
- 3 cinnamon sticks (3-inch each)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
Spiced Red Wine Punch
- 4 (750 ml) bottlesfruity red wine, such as Beaujolais or 4 (750 ml) bottles shiraz wine
- 1 1⁄4 cups holiday spice syrup (above recipe)
- pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- sliced kumquat, for garnish
- ice cube, for serving
- Holiday Spice Syrup: Combine the water, sugar, star anise pods, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean and seeds in a large saucepan and simmer over moderately low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup and chill.
- Combine the red wine and 1 1/4 cup of the holiday spice syrup in a very large punch bowl and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and kumquat slices and serve over ice.