Recipe Punch from Abruzzo

Discussion in 'Beverages, Drinks and Smoothies' started by medtran49, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    There was a high-end Italian restaurant owned and run by a family from Abruzzo that we used to absolutely love. Unfortunately, it closed after several years because the chef/owner burned out and couldn't deal with the pressure of so much work anymore. Most of the times we went, he'd serve us either their homemade limoncello or what he called punch, which was a brown, syrupy drink. While we can buy limoncello locally, though we prefer our homemade, we have never been able to find punch. I finally found some on line, but by the time shipping is added, it's going to be the better part of $80 for a single bottle that we aren't even sure is the right thing. Now, we've paid that much or more for a bottle of wine or champagne from time to time, but those have been well known houses with proven track records. One day recently, I decided to look again for a recipe for homemade punch, but this time I got the idea of googling in Italian. Yea, success! I found 2 recipes. One just with mandarin orange zest and sugar, the other with the addition of cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla. In both, part of the sugar is caramelized to a deep golden brown, basically nearly burnt. I just got finished zesting 3 pounds of mandarins and put the divided zest in 2 bottles of grain alcohol. I'll add the other spices in 1 bottle. They have to sit for 7 days now, then get the sugar, then sit for at least another 7 days. Recipe to follow after we taste and see which one we like better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  2. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Fascinating. I would never have thought there was an Italian punch - I thought it was Afro Caribbean or British in origin which shows how much I know

    I wonder if @MypinchofItaly knows about this drink.
     
  3. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Yes she does. We had a discussion about limoncello and punch on here a while back. She knew of the drink, but not a recipe. I actually also had a private conversation with her recently because 1 of the recipes gives the water in grams, rather than mL, and that had me confused. She was gracious enough to give me an explanation why.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Brilliant - I do love these connections. :D
     
    buckytom likes this.
  5. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    MypinchofItaly and buckytom like this.
  6. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Über Member

    Location:
    Milano (Italy)
    Great. And to think that in Italy now the Punch has become a bit old-fashioned, it is found in some pub among other liquors but it is not very considered, a part in Abruzzo.
    It is also very rare that at the restaurant or in some tavern at the end of the meal they propose the Punch. The two most popular liqueurs are limoncello and myrtle. I think, however, that it is instead very used mixed to make some cocktails
     
  7. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Punch recipe #1

    750 ml grain alcohol
    1-1/2 pounds mandarin oranges
    10 cm OR 4 inch cinnamon stick
    1 vanilla bean, split open
    5 cloves
    525 grams OR 2-1/4 cups + scant 1/8 cup sugar
    1,125 ml OR 2-1/4 cups water
    825 grams OR 3-7/8 cups sugar

    Wash and dry the mandarins. With a miroplane, carefully zest the mandarins, making sure not to get any of the bitter white pith. If the mandarin still has the faintest hint of orange, you've done it perfectly! Place the zest in a large glass container (we usually use 1.5 L old liquor bottles). Pour in the grain alcohol. Add the cinnamon stick, vanilla beans and cloves. Let this mixture sit for at least a week, tilting bottle to mix daily.

    After at least a week, line a colander with dampened cheesecloth or a dampened single-ply paper towel and strain liquor. Set aside.

    Mix the 525 grams sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes, set aside. Place remaining sugar in a large sauce pan and caramelize over medium high heat until it is a deep golden brown, stirring frequently with a long-handled metal spoon. About half way through, when the sugar was mostly clumps but there was also medium golden brown liquid sugar, I VERY slowly added about a cup of the reserved sugar syrup so as not to burn the sugar. It will bubble up, be careful! I turned the heat back on and let it boil, stirring frequently and watching so it didn't boil over, until it was dark golden brown. Turn off heat. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then slowly add remaining reserved sugar syrup. Turn heat back on and bring back to a boil to melt any remaining sugar clumps. Once only thin sugar chips remain, turn heat off and let cool to room temp, stirring occasionally until any sugar chips dissolve. Mix strained liquor and sugar syrup together and bottle. Let sit for a week at minimum.

    Can be served straight up at room temperature, warmed like cognac, or in coffee.

    NOTE: Caramelized sugar is extremely hot and can cause terrible burns! Please take precautions and be careful!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    MypinchofItaly and morning glory like this.
  8. medtran49

    medtran49 Senior Member

    Location:
    SE Florida
    Punch recipe #2

    750 ml grain alcohol
    1-1/2 pounds mandarin oranges
    525 grams OR 2-1/4 cups + scant 1/8 cup sugar
    1,125 ml OR 2-1/4 cups water
    825 grams OR 3-7/8 cups sugar

    Wash and dry the mandarins. With a miroplane, carefully zest the mandarins, making sure not to get any of the bitter white pith. If the mandarin still has the faintest hint of orange, you've done it perfectly! Place the zest in a large glass container (we usually use 1.5 L old liquor bottles). Pour in the grain alcohol. Let this mixture sit for at least a week, tilting bottle to mix daily.

    After at least a week, line a colander with dampened cheesecloth or a dampened single-ply paper towel and strain liquor. Set aside.

    Mix the 525 grams sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes, set aside. Place remaining sugar in a large sauce pan and caramelize over medium high heat until it is a deep golden brown, stirring frequently with a long-handled metal spoon. About half way through, when the sugar was mostly clumps but there was also medium golden brown liquid sugar, I VERY slowly added about a cup of the reserved sugar syrup so as not to burn the sugar. It will bubble up, be careful! I turned the heat back on and let it boil, stirring frequently and watching so it didn't boil over, until it was dark golden brown. Turn off heat. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then slowly add remaining reserved sugar syrup. Turn heat back on and bring back to a boil to melt any remaining sugar clumps. Once only thin sugar chips remain, turn heat off and let cool to room temp, stirring occasionally until any sugar chips dissolve. Mix strained liquor and sugar syrup together and bottle. Let sit for a week at minimum.

    Can be served straight up at room temperature, warmed like cognac, or in coffee.

    NOTE: Caramelized sugar is extremely hot and can cause terrible burns! Please take precautions and be careful!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018

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