Spooky Smoked Punch
Ah, Halloween, the time when candy corn invades every grocery item. I even spotted candy corn-stuffed white chocolate. I don’t know about you, but the idea of more candy-themed cocktail recipes makes me want to gag myself with a broomstick. Here at Alcohol Professor, we promise not to bring you cloying milkshakes and sticky sweet concoctions that happen to contain booze. Cocktails aren’t about masking booze with other ingredients. We love booze, why hide it?! As an alternative to all the sugar gore, I offer you my Spooky Smoked Punch.Smokey whiskey (or whisky) actually makes a wonderful cocktail ingredient. The smoke can stand up to sugary elements like liqueurs and sweet wines, playing off their flavors without highlighting their sweetness. For this recipe, I’ve combined a smokey style of American whiskey (but you could also use peated Scotch, peated Irish Whiskey, peated Japanese Whisky, etc.), moscato, fernet, spicy bitters and juice for a recipe that has a little hellfire. This recipe is all about zest balancing palatability. There’s plenty of spiciness here, but not so much you regret having a sip. Plus, the large format style of punch makes this easy to serve if you’re opting to have a few friends over, or just want to enjoy several rounds with a special someone. Ditch the candy corn and crème de cacao and get ready to get smokey!
Spooky Smoked Punch
- 375 mL Smokey Whisk(e)y, such as Balcones Brimstone
- 4 oz/ 118 mL Fernet (I happened to have Fernet Dogma around, but you can use the ever ubiquitous Fernet Branca)
- 1 Liter Unsweetened or lightly sweetened lemonade/grapefruit juice
- Several dashes spicy bitters (I used Devil’s Bitters from S&M Bitters, but more widely available are the Smoked Chili Bitters from Hella Bitters - any spicy/sweet tincture will do)
- Sparkling Moscato, to top
- Chili powder, to top
In a punch bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order listed. Mix with ladle or other serving spoon. Serve, and enjoy!
Pro-tip: Chill the ingredients beforehand, but only for twenty minutes or so. You don’t want your punch so ice cold the ingredients lose flavor.