Here's a punch recipe that master mixologist Dale DeGroff showed me himself at his home in Long Island. He didn't give it a name, so I'm just calling it Dale's Barbecue Punch.
1.5 cups sugar
Juice and peel of 8 lemons
Juice of 1 ripe pineapple
1 bottle of Pisco* (BarSol or Santiago Queiroloare are good brands)
1 bottle of sparkling wine or 1 bottle of dry riesling and 1/2 bottle of club soda or sparkling water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
A day beforehand, fill some takeaway containers full of water and freeze them to make ice to add to your punch. (Note: Petrol station ice is rubbish for punch and will melt too quickly – save it to chill beer.)
In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and lemon peel, and muddle well, expressing the oils from the peel and incorporating it into the sugar. You can leave this for as long as 3 hours or as little as 20 mins, allowing the mixture to 'cook" and turn into a sherbet.
Add the lemon juice, pineapple juice and 6 dashes of Angostura bitters. Taste. Add more citrus or sugar to your liking.
Add the Pisco (and the white wine if you're not using sparkling wine) to taste.
Top with sparkling wine or club soda, add your big blocks of ice and garnish with seasonal fruit. Serve and join the party.
* Pisco is a clear grape brandy produced in Peru or Chile.
** When stone fruit is in season, slice up a peach and an apricot to decorate the bowl, even nectarines. If berries are in season, scatter a mixture. Limit yourself to two to three fruits. It's not a fruit salad.