Thursday, July 24, 2014

bourbon slush punch

bourbon slush punch

Nothing to see here, guys.

strong tea

Really, you wouldn’t like this. Who’d want to drink a half-frozen blend of strong tea, lemonade, orange juice and bourbon garnished with fresh mint on a sticky, hot summer day? It might give you a little brain freeze. It would probably feel like liquid air conditioning. It could improve your outlook to the point that you might forget to dread the next heat wave. Nothing good could come of this.

orange juice-ing

Trust me, I know from experience. My friends brought bags of this slush up to their roof last month and I had but a few crunchy sips before I turned to my husband and said, “I think I’m starting to like summer in the city.” He said, “Whoa. Slow down there!” And we both agreed that this was a very dangerous drink to have on hand and that we should only finish our glass and at most one more to be safe.

lemon juicing

bourbon, tea, lemon and orange juice
all mixed and ready
concentrate + ice to blend

My friends got the recipe from a magazine, but it’s crazy sweet as printed. I ended up tweaking it, using freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade instead of frozen concentrate and half the recommended sugar (less, even, given that I didn’t sweeten the equivalent homemade lemonade). The original recipe has you divide the mixture between two gallon-size freezer bags and freeze it until slushy, but my friends complained that this took forever, at least 12 hours in their freezer (your freezer may be colder), and that’s just way too much forethought about a cocktail for me. Plus, I had little doubt that I’d miss the “perfectly slushy” window and end up with a giant ice cube. So, when I make it, I use a base concentrate which is all of the ingredients except the water and you should keep this chilled until needed. And instead of adding water, we used the equivalent weight in ice, which you can blend in a large batch or individual size, as needed. Which might be often this weekend. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

bourbon slush punch
bourbon slush punch

One year ago: Banana, Nutella and Salt Pistachio Popsicles
Two years ago: Pink Lemonade Bars
Three years ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
Four years ago: Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin
Five years ago: Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Six years ago: Herbed Potato and Summer Squash Torte
Seven years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Bourbon Slush Punch
Adapted from Garden & Gun

After significantly reducing the sugar and replacing frozen concentrate with fresh juice, I halved this recipe so that it serves 8 people (in 1-cup servings; your punch glasses may be smaller) from 4 cups concentrate and about 5 cups ice. The resulting punch is lightly sweet and very refreshing. And it crunches. You can definitely double it for a crowd. If you would rather make the slush the way originally recommended, after you make the punch base mixture, add 2 cups cold water to it. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze mixture until slushy (this might take several to many hours), and serve. If it freezes solid, place it in a punch bowl and let it thaw, breaking it up every 15 minutes or so. Blending ice cubes as directed below is definitely less work.

1 cup water
2 tea bags (whatever you like for iced tea)
1 cup bourbon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups orange juice (about 3 well-squeezed oranges)
6 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
16 to 17 ounces (about 5 cups of small pieces of ice) ice cubes
Mint sprigs or lemon slices, for garnish

Boil 1 cup water for tea. Add the tea bags and let steep until cool. Discard the tea bags and set aside. Pour tea into a pitcher. Add bourbon, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice and refrigerate until needed. Don’t worry about stirring the sugar so that it dissolves; after 30 minutes in the fridge, it will have.

To serve: Shake or stir punch base to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed. To make two liters of punch, add base and full amount of ice cubes to your blender, blending until the ice is crushed and slushy. For each individual glass of punch, place 1/2 cup punch base and slightly heaped 1/2 cup small pieces of ice (mine were chipped off an ice block; don’t ask) and blend until slushy. Add an extra whole ice cube or two to glasses if desired. Garnish glass with a sprig of mint or slice of lemon.


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