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Bob’s Your Apple Punch

Bob’s Your Apple Punch 6.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Post

Spirits Oct 17, 2019

This punch is named for “bobbing” for apples, once a popular Halloween game. Serving it in a punch bowl will be a visual echo of that, as it allows you to scatter pretty (and tasty) slices of apple and other garnishes on top, but you can serve it in a pitcher if you prefer. As specified, the recipe makes 6 to 8 servings. But if you need more, you can double the recipe, or just add more apple juice or ginger ale for a larger but less alcoholic batch. You have plenty of choices for the sparkling apple cider, too — go with a nonalcoholic type, or grab one of the many good alcoholic versions now available; these will vary in sweetness.

Note: For the apple juice, Red Jacket’s Fuji Apple is nice and bright; regular cider will be richer and darker. Look for a ginger ale with good spice to it, like Fever-Tree or Q.

Make Ahead: If you’re making a block of punch ice, you’ll need to freeze it the night before. A Tupperware container or cereal bowl can create a good-size ice block. You can also prep the punch base (the spirit, vermouth, apple juice and vanilla) the night before, if you like, but wait to add the sparkling ingredients until you’re ready to serve.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • Ice (preferably a large block)
  • 2 cups fresh, unsweetened apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups apple brandy or bourbon
  • 1 cup sparkling apple cider, or more as needed
  • 3/4 cup spicy ginger ale (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Several dashes Angostura bitters
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Tiny apples, lemon and apple slices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs, grated nutmeg (optional), for garnish

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The night before you plan to serve the cocktail, freeze the water for a block of ice (if using).

When ready to serve the punch, place the ice in a large punch bowl. Add the fresh apple cider or juice, brandy or bourbon, sparkling apple cider, ginger ale, vermouth, and vanilla, then stir gently to combine. Add the bitters, then taste and add some maple syrup, if additional sweetness is desired. Garnish with thin slices of lemon, apples, spices and rosemary, then generously grate nutmeg, if using, across the surface of the punch.

Serve over ice in punch cups or rocks glasses.

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Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8): 190

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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