Here comes a glass full of (sparkling) wine and the sun
There’s really not much you can do wrong with this fruity cocktail – if you keep a few simple basic rules in mind:
- The best punches only use a couple of ingredients.
- A punch is only ever as good as the wine or sparkling wine used in its making. German quality wine, a light Kabinett and fruity Winzersekt are excellent choices.
- Only use fresh and fully ripe fruit.
- Peel and chop the fruit carefully – do not crush it.
- To get the fruit to develop its full aroma, just sugar it lightly or marinate it in grape liqueur. If you prefer a sweet punch, use sweet wines.
- Only add – well chilled – sparkling wine and mineral water just before you serve the punch. This way, you’ll keep it fizzing for that much longer.
- The ideal serving temperature for a punch is 5-8 °C, slightly cooler than for wine.
Do not add ice cubes to the punch. This will water it down. Best place the punch bowl inside a larger bowl filled with crushed ice.
And another thing: Once the punch is dwindling, do not top it up. It’s better to serve a good wine after the punch is finished.
3 tried-and-tested punch recipes
Prepare a large plate full of fresh strawberries. Cut larger strawberries in half or quarter them. Sprinkle with sugar and let them sit for a while to release their juice. Alternatively, marinate the fruit in grape liqueur. Next, place fruit and juice in a punch bowl and let them steep in a little wine. Later, add 4-5 bottles of wine, such as well chilled rosé or Weißherbst. If possible, place the punch bowl on crushed ice. Just before serving, add a bottle of German Winzersekt and enjoy.
Peel 6-8 ripe peaches, cut them in half and remove the stones. Sprinkle the fruit pieces with sugar and let them steep. Next, add 3-4 bottles of wine, such as Riesling or Silvaner, and let the mixture steep for a couple of hours, preferably on ice. Just before serving, add a bottle of German Winzersekt for that zesty finishing touch.
Wash 15 kumquats in hot water, dry them and cut them into thin slices. Sprinkle with brown sugar and add a little wine, such as Pinot Gris or a mature Riesling. Let the mixture steep for a couple of hours, then top up with 2 bottles of wine and leave it to steep for some more time on ice. Just before serving, add a bottle of Winzersekt for that delightful sparkle.
How the punch got its name
The German termfor the refreshing summer cocktail made of wine and fruit is Bowle, derived from the English word “bowl”. Allegedly, the cocktail was invented by British colonial officers in India. To invigorate themselves and to overcome the sheer boredom of Colonial life, they got their Indian servants to create drinks for them that used at least five – or “punch” in Hindi – ingredients. Those were then served to the officers in a large “punchbowl”.
Thus the British started the fashion for punches in Europe in the 18th century. Initially reserved to nobility, drinking punch soon became a favourite pastime in bourgeois circles as well. And the favourite drink of the 19th century high society later became the party craze of the 1950s. Today, the cocktail is becoming fashionable once again as an invigorating, fresh and fruity drink for the summer.