The holidays are officially upon us, which means, holiday party planning.  For those of you looking for an easy-to-prepare punch, I've got just the one for you.  It's made with Boodles Rhubarb & Strawberry Gin (which combines the London Dry style gin with the taste of fresh rhubarb and strawberry), prosecco, fresh lemon juice, ginger tea, and a homemade strawberry star anise syrup.  The Rhubarb & Strawberry gin has a nice brightness to it, and quite a bit of fruity flavor that pairs nicely with the round sweetness of the syrup and the holiday spiciness of the star anise.  


The hardest part of the recipe is the syrup, which I recommend you prepare the day before your party.  It calls for a bag of frozen strawberries, whole anise pods, brown sugar, and water, which you let boil until it reaches a nice syrupy consistency.  The recipe below makes a little extra (because I know you're going to want it), and is delicious on yogurt, ice cream, or mixed with seltzer for a refreshing alcohol-free tipple.

As with any punch, I always double the recipe for the start of a party and depending on the crowd will make sure I provision for an extra double batch to have on hand should the punch bowl run dry.  No one likes an empty punch bowl - NO ONE.


You can either let your guests serve themselves, or you can garnish each glass individually for a bit of extra flair.  Express a lemon peel over every cup of punch, and (if you're up for the challenge), flame a star anise pod for a nice aromatic garnish that will be sure to wow your guests.


So far this recipe has been a hit with my friends and family - I hope it is with yours as well.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Star Anise Gin Punch
Makes 20 Servings

6-1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
13.5 oz Strawberry Star Anise Syrup*
13.5 oz Brewed Ginger Tea, Chilled
18-3/4 oz Boodles Rhubarb & Strawberry Gin
25 oz Prosecco

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl with a large block of ice.  Garnish the bowl with slices of fresh strawberries, star anise pods, and lemon peel slivers.  Garnish each drink with a star anise pod (flamed, or not) and a lemon twist.




Strawberry Star Anise Syrup
Makes Approximately 16 oz of Syrup

2 c. Frozen Strawberries
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Water

Combine in a medium-large pot and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until you've reached your preferred syrup consistency.  Strain into a non-reactive container, and keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.





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Source: gastronomista.com