What is winter without punch and mulled wine? They are inseparable. With their numerous variations, both cold-weather drinks are deliciously warming, from the inside out. All you need to do is bear in mind a few details. We asked Stefan Bauer, senior barkeeper at The Bank Bar, for his tips for the perfect punch and questioned him on cocktails as an equally heart-warming alternative. He not only gave us what we asked, but threw in a recipe for good measure – for a “Wintry Frank” (“winterlicher Franz”).
Punch – done right
- When using citrus peel, the pith should be removed. It soon makes the punch taste bitter.
- Remove spices once the punch tastes the way you want it to. When steeped any longer in the warm liquid, they keep adding flavour that can become stronger than desired.
- Don’t prepare too much punch at any one time. The longer it stands and is kept warm, the more flavour evaporates. It’s better to prepare a second portion and then warm it up fresh.
Don’t fancy punch? Then warm up in the bar: with a hot toddy (bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, honey and hot water) or a hot buttered rum (brown sugar, hot apple juice, spiced butter with allspice, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla to sprinkle on top along with a cinnamon stick to stir). In the UK, the USA, Canada and Luxemburg, another festive drink is eggnog. Prepared warm, it’s a variety of egg punch. Also popular in the UK and on the German coast is grog: Stefan Bauer prepares it with honey, rum, lime juice and hot water. But be careful: as you might have guessed from the etymology, drinking too much grog can make you feel groggy the next day!
The new signature menu created by Stefan Bauer and his team for The Bank Bar guarantees fluctuations – not in currency or exchange rates, but the other kind. Just as in old times when The Bank was still a banking hall, the rouble, pound, peso, dollar, yen, sol and krone are all still in circulation – or more accurately still sold – here, as cocktail creations.
Winterlicher Franz (“Wintry Frank”)
30cl Franzi (apple juice spiced with turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon and lemongrass, available pre-prepared in shops)
10cl Ingwerer (ginger liqueur)
10cl Elderberry syrup
Warm all ingredients in a saucepan. Perfect accompaniment to wintry desserts.