Missed “Bar 103: The Pool & Patio Edition?” We took notes for you!


Missed “Bar 103: The Pool & Patio Edition?” We took notes for you!

Missed “Bar 103: The Pool & Patio Edition?” No worries. We took notes for you!

Chris Robertson here, making sure all the folks at home can participate in the fun of BRAVO! Tastings.

For Bar 103 I wanted to focus on how to throw a party without being stuck behind the bar all evening AND without sacrificing great, evolving, flavorful drinks for your guests. The best way to do that? Punch! But we’re not talking frozen fruit juice and ginger ale punches. Nope, these are the perfect party cocktails for those who want a little zing in their drink.

The great things about these punch “recipes” is that they are perfect for just improvising your measurements- whether you’re going big or little, there’s no fussing over ounces and measuring cups. Just eye-ball it and follow whatever pleases your palate.

I had a helper for the evening, so we worked 2 punch bowls for 3 rounds simultaneously for our little party.

Round 1:  The Basic Cocktails

We started with two basic but great summer cocktails to get people into the mood of being at a party: a traditional Daiquiri and the Paloma.

You want the major part of these cocktails to be fruit driven and refreshing. Don’t be afraid of the sugar on these, but then again, don’t go for candy coated. Don’t be afraid to go big with flavors. If you end up making it too sweet, you can always add more citrus to even it out. The same goes for too sour; just add more sweet.

R1: Bowl 1 (Daiquiri)

2 parts silver or gold rum

1 part fresh or nice bottled lime juice

1 part simple syrup

R1: Bowl 2 (Paloma)

2 parts silver or gold tequila

½ part lime juice

1 part simple syrup

2 parts grapefruit juice

Round 2: The Build Up

After we drank down the first round, but before the bowls were empty (about a fifth still full), we used our leftover punch as the base for the second cocktail.

For bowl 1, we introduce Leblon, a cachaca, which is a Brazilian sugar cane like spirit, almost like a funky rum. We then add cranberry (not cranberry cocktail) and a little simple syrup to even out the edge of the cachaca.

For Bowl 2, we added Mathilda Marachino (a Croatian cherry liqueur), lemon and sugar (basically lemonade), and a white port.  The lemonade adds bite, while the white port smoothes it out giving us a wonderful springboard for the maraschino flavor to bounce off of.

R2: Bowl 1 (The Brazilian Influence)

1 part cachaca

1 part cranberry

1/3 part simple syrup

R2: Bowl 2

1 part maraschino

1 part lemonade (lemon and sugar)

1 part white port

Round 3: Effervescent Finish

To end a hot night, we wanted something bubbly and effervescent with a little zing to enliven the crowd after a few cocktails. Again, this was after we had drunk down the rounds but before the bowls were empty.

To bowl 1, we added vodka to space out the flavors of the drink without diluting the alcohol content. We then added in some rosé wine (not white zinfadel) to soften out the bite and also some cava (this is a Spanish bubbly, but your favorite champagne will work just as well) to give it some pep.

To bowl 2, we brought in Pimm’s which is an English liqueur with a nice herbal quality and then ginger beer (Cock & Bull is the most famous brand) for a spicy zing.

R3:  Bowl 1

1 part rosé

1 ½ part cava- or your favorite bubbly

½  part vodka

R3: Bowl 2

1 part Pimm’s

¾ part ginger beer

¼ part simple syrup

All of the flavors of these drinks are relative and can be easily changed for your own personal tastes. Just try to keep things in balance, so nothing is too sour or too sweet, too alcoholic or too watery, too spicy or too dull. One of the really fun parts of working with punches is developing the tastes of each round into distinctly different cocktails. By this, I mean if you change it up, then really change it up.

Also, don’t break your wallet on these. The finer nuances of high-end spirits will be lost on the layers of flavors that you are building up in these bowls. Now, don’t take the cheapest route either. They call it “Rot Gut” for a reason.

Have fun, keep experimenting!

-Chris Robertson



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