Friday, February 22, 2013

The Half Moon Punch

By Warren Bobrow

Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, NY is making gin! Not just any gin, mind you, but gin that takes the art of distilling to a higher level. What makes this gin unique in the marketplace already filled with all sorts of flavors, are the ingredients. This gin is distilled using the juniper berry to give the signature flavor - but that's where the similarity ends. This gin is not like chewing a Christmas tree, nor is it dry as a lake in Death Valley during the heat of the summer.

The Tuthilltown Half Moon Gin is made from a base of their celebrated Manhattan Rye Whiskey along with a base of local apples and wheat. I dare you to find another gin that exemplifies this level of meaning in flavor. Taste it in a punch and stash away your preconceived notions that gin tastes like vodka only greener and stickier.

Berlo Prosecco is another of my go-to ingredients for mixology of all sorts. Perhaps the depth of the grape has something to do with my desire to include it in cocktails. Berlo Prosecco is not overly expensive, thus it adds flavor without taking too much out of your pocket. Berlo means "drink it" in Italian so if you follow the directions on the label to drink it, the method should come pretty easily to you!

I created a punch for the Edible Manhattan "Good Spirits" event using the Half Moon Gin and Prosecco that was so engaging, people came back multiple times during the evening to both praise and ask (kindly) for another glass and the recipe. Between all the flavors of the evening and my hand crafted punch - I doubt anyone got away with only a small buzz.

This punch was carefully crafted using simple to source ingredients. You can order Half Moon Gin from DrinkUpNY as well as the lovely Berlo Prosecco. We used the Bitter Frost Bitters from Tuthilltown, but you can use The Bitter Truth Bitters Aromatic Bitters (also available from DrinkUpNY).

The Half Moon Punch

Ingredients:
• 1 Bottle Half Moon Gin
• 2 Qts. Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
• 1 Qt. Pomegranate Juice (Pom works)
• 2 Bottles Berlo Prosecco
• 10 or so shakes of The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, taste, then add more if necessary.
• Orange, Lemon and Lime rounds
• Ice made with your Mavea "Inspired Water" Pitcher infused with chilies (crush some chile peppers of your choice into your filtered water, place in a 1 gallon container, then freeze as usual).

Preparation:

1. Add all liquid ingredients to a punch bowl.
2. Add the large block of infused Mavea ice to the punch bowl.
3. Garnish with citrus rounds and serve to an appreciative audience.
4. Refill with ice, gin and pomegranate and grapefruit juices as necessary

Danger level 5 out of 5!
Danger! DANGER! 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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