Let’s keep this short and sweet. I hate mixing individual drinks. When I’m doing a dinner party I try to have most things done ahead of time. Does that happen? Not always 🙂 Mostly because I changed my mind halfway through and decided we don’t want salad today we want roasted sprouts instead. I haven’t yet washed the food processor or put on makeup and I’m trying to remember exactly how many gluten-free friends are coming.
My go-to cooking outfit is an XL men’s black tank top that acts as a shapeless dress, with spanx underneath (to prevent flashing as I bend down to the oven, and to curb eating everything) and clunky dansk clogs. It’s just as glamorous as it sounds and gives you a point of reference of exactly how much work needs to be done in the last half hour before people show up. When you need to go from scruffy kitchen gremlin to presentable human you don’t have time to think about what you’re gonna hand people to drink.
Batched cocktails are therefore a lifesaver(!). You can whip up a delicious, funky syrup or base way ahead of time, have everything chilled and ready to go. Then assemble easily, pour into a pretty jug or dispenser and let people help themselves. Ta-daaaaa. Maybe now you’ll have time to put on mascara.
Aperol is an Italian aperitif that’s herbal and bitter. It chums along with rosemary, grapefruit and gin like they’ve known each other forever. The combination is so dang drinkable. This drink is savory and sweet and a great reason to snag the last of the winter citrus.
Grapefruit Aperol Punch
For the Grapefruit-Rosemary Syrup:
- 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice about 2 large fruits
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 rosemary sprigs
For the Cocktail:
- 6 ounces gin
- 4 ounces Aperol
- 8 ounces fresh grapefruit juice about 2 large fruits
- 4 ounces grapefruit-rosemary syrup
- cava for topping
- fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
For the Syrup:
Add all three ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir to make sure the sugar is melted.
Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
Discard rosemary sprigs. Pour syrup into a container to cool down faster.
For the Cocktail:
In a large spouted carafe combine all the liquids and give it a stir and a taste. Adjust to your liking.
Fill some pretty glasses halfway with ice. Pour the batched cocktail in and top off with cava because you need bubbles in your life. Garnish with a sprig. Sip away!
- Leftover syrup is sooooo good mixed in with seltzer for a refreshing boozless beverage.
- Store syrup covered in the fridge for a week.
- This is easily doubled or tripled, just get lots of grapefruits if you're looking for a bigger batch and squeeze ahead of time.
- If you don't like gin then 1) weird and 2) use vodka.
- Cava is a sparkling Spanish wine that is crisp, dry, and full of bubbles. I love it hardcore but you can use prosecco instead -- the drinks will just be sweeter.