Niagara Fruit Belt Punch

Été 2017
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food and drink

BY: Eric Vellend

This complex mocktail takes fruit punch on a trip down the Q.E.W. To save time, you could stir the batch in a pitcher of ice right before serving, but for a bracingly cold drink with a light texture, it’s ideal to shake each drink to order. To make a cocktail out of it, add 2 oz of vodka per drink and strain into a chilled highball glass three-quarters-filled with ice. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd.

1 cup (250 mL) peach nectar
¾ cup (175 mL) fresh-pressed apple juice
6 tbsp (90 mL) white grape juice
6 tbsp (90 mL) Cherry Syrup (recipe follows)
¼ cup (60 mL) strained fresh lemon juice
4 dashes orange bitters
Fresh cherries and peach slices to garnish

1. In a glass pitcher or jar, stir together peach nectar, apple juice, grape juice, cherry syrup, lemon juice and bitters. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance.

2. For each drink, stir the mixture and pour 5½ oz into a cocktail shaker. Fill ¾ with ice. Shake until ice cold, about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with cherry and peach slice.

Makes 4 mocktails

CHERRY SYRUP

This vibrant red syrup is similar to grenadine, and can be used to sweeten a wide range of beverages from iced tea to a Whisky Sour— and even an Old Fashioned. It’s a good way to use up any lightly bruised cherries at the bottom of the bag.

6 oz (175 g) cherries, stemmed
½ cup (125 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1 wide strip lemon zest

1. In a medium saucepan, bring cherries, water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and lightly mash fruit with a potato masher. Add lemon zest. Cover and let stand 45 minutes.

2. Fine strain into a bowl, pressing gently on solids to extract syrup. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to a glass jar with lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)