Christmas was a holiday just MADE for punch, in my opinion! A fabulous punch is not only festive during Christmas week, but incredibly easy when you’re hosting a group, because you can ‘set it and forget it’ and turn your attention to more important things, like trimming the tree, making a list, checking it twice, you know-- all those holiday happenings.
Because eggnog isn’t for everybody--- here’s one of my own holiday traditions: refreshing Crangria!
In case the name didn’t give it away, Crangria is our urban family’s take on Sangria, made wintery by cranberries, and always the star of the show at our Friendsgivings here in Brooklyn. Every year the recipe evolves and get a little more sophisticated. This year’s version created by our friend, NYC bartender Katie Byrum, combines fig brandy you infuse yourself, homemade cranberry grenadine, and lots of the Spanish sparkling wine Cava to make it fizz! Katie recommends you combine the brandy and grenadine a couple days ahead of time to let the flavors mingle, and then just add the decorative ice cubes and Cava when you want to serve it. What could be easier than that?
Pomegranate Fig ‘Crangria’
750 ml Dibon Sparkling Brut Rose
375 ml Dibon Cava
375 ml cranberry grenadine*
375 ml fig-infused brandy**
Decorative Ice Cubes
*Cranberry Grenadine (adapted from Jeffrey Morgenthaler's grenadine recipe)
1 cup POM wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
Just over .75 cup R.W. Knudsen “Just Cranberry” (unsweetened)
.25 simple syrup (1:1 by weight)
2 oz pomegranate molasses
1 tsp orange blossom water
peels of two oranges, careful to avoid pith
Heat juices on low, just until hot enough to dissolve more viscous ingredients. Add simple and molasses, stir till dissolved, remove from heat, and cool. Add orange blossom water and orange peel and let infuse at least 24 hours.
1 bottle Neversink Apple brandy
½ cup of dried figs, chopped.
Let infuse for at least 24 hours, then strain through cheesecloth.
For the ice cubes, make ahead in trays:
Rosemary or other hardy seasonal herbs, whole cranberries, pomegranate seeds.