Apple Cider and Bourbon Punch
Apples and oranges are often portrayed as opposites, seemingly having nothing in common. However, both fruits frequently grace Thanksgiving tables, with oranges appearing in cranberry sauces and cornbread stuffings alongside apples. They harmoniously unite in a gentle punch, jazzed up by bourbon and enriched by brown sugar and cinnamon simple syrup. Consider substituting bourbon with an apple spirit like Applejack or Calvados for an extra dose of apple essence. The leftover simple syrup proves versatile, perfect for enhancing cocktails like a festive Old Fashioned or drizzling over oatmeal and rice pudding.
- To create the syrup:1. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon sticks with 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan.2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.3. Simmer uncovered until the sugar completely dissolves, stirring occasionally, which should take about 10 minutes.4. Remove the pan from heat and allow the syrup to cool.5. Discard the cinnamon sticks. You can refrigerate any leftover syrup for up to a week.
- Combine the cooled syrup with bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, and orange juice in a pitcher. Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour.
- Strain the chilled punch into a punch bowl. Add 4 cups of ice and club soda. Garnish with orange wheels and generously grate nutmeg on top. Serve the punch over ice and enjoy.