Brunch Punch will get you in the mood for Spring

A bowl of punch turns a backyard of rugged individualists into a group with a mission, says cocktail expert David Wondrich, who has written a book, Punch, on the subject.

Wondrich serves his in small glasses so that guests "have to go back for frequent refills", he said, "and every time they do, a new conversation starts."

It also provides convenience for the host. 

When you are expecting a yard of guests it's nice not to have to play bartender, too.

Fruit, spice rum, gin and even white wine evoke summer as a centrepiece drink served in a gleaming chilled bowl. 

You can prepare the punch in advance and add ice at the last minute. 

Brunch Punch 

Makes 16 servings of 180ml

Ingredients

  • 480ml (2 cups) gin
  • 480ml (2 cups) Campari
  • 480ml (2 cups) white vermouth
  • 1.4l (6 cups freshly squeezed
  • grapefruit juice (juice of 5 fruits)
  • Sliced cucumber and orange, or other citrus, for garnish

Method

  1. In a large glass container, combine all the liquids; stir gently.
  2. Float some of the wheels of cucumber and oranges on the punch.
  3. Ladle punch into rocks glasses filled with ice, and garnish with cucumber and orange. 

Club Punch
Club Punch 

Makes 20, 90ml drinks

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 480 ml (2 cups) jenever (or craft gin)
  • 480 ml (2 cups) chilled German (or other) riesling, not too sweet
  • 480 ml (2 cups) chilled sparkling
  • Water
  • Nutmeg for garnishing

Method

  1. Make the shrub: peel lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding pith. Juice lemons and set juice aside.
  2. Place peels and sugar into a Mason jar, seal and shake.
  3. Leave jar in the sun for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Add reserved lemon juice and shake until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Will keep for several days refrigerated.
  6. In a large bowl or jug, combine shrub (peels and all) with all the liquids. Stir gently.
  7. Add a 950 ml block of ice (made by freezing a container of water overnight).
  8. Grate nutmeg on top and ladle into small serving glasses.
Courtesy The New York Times