Mezcal Royale Punch
This bright, thoroughly modern combination of lime, blanc vermouth, mezcal and Cognac is topped, in a nod to classic Champagne punches, with sparkling red wine. If you don’t have sparkling red, opt for a dry Lambrusco, sparkling rosé or even a sparkling white. Using a sparkling white eliminates the festive color but keeps the effervescence. When choosing glasses or tea cups or ceramics to serve punch, be sure to err on the smaller side. Punch should be served in smaller portions — and refilled often.
- Serves: 18 persons
- ¾cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½cups/12 ounces blanc vermouth
- ¾cup/6 ounces mezcal
- ¾cup/6 ounces Cognac or brandy
- 3cups/24 ounces club soda
- 1(750-milliliter) bottle cold, dry sparkling red wine, Lambrusco or sparkling rosé
Step 1Peel 4 limes and place the peels in a medium bowl (if using a muddler) or a medium jar (if using the end of a rolling pin to muddle); reserve the limes. Add the sugar and work it into the peels until they start to turn slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 2Juice the reserved limes (you should have about 3/4 cup juice; you may need to juice 1 or 2 of the remaining limes) and add to the lime peel mixture. Stir (or cover and shake the jar) until the sugar dissolves. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the solids and transfer to a large bowl. (The mixture can also be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)
Step 3Add the vermouth, mezcal, Cognac and 2 cups cold water; stir to combine. Pour the mixture into resealable bottles or jars, and cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Step 4To serve, pour the mixture into a large punch or serving bowl. Add the club soda and stir gently to combine. Fill individual punch glasses with ice and ladle the punch into the glasses; top each with a splash of sparkling red wine and a lime slice.