The Washington Post

Summer Garden Punch

Summer Garden Punch 16.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Spirits Apr 28, 2017

Here, turning fresh cherry tomatoes into a sweet-and-savory shrub intensifies their flavors.

You’ll need cheesecloth and a fine-mesh strainer to prepare the shrub.

Make Ahead: Make the tomato shrub a few hours ahead of time (and up to 2 weeks in advance) to ensure it’s adequately chilled by the time you make the punch.

Where to Buy: We found St. George’s Green Chile Vodka at Ace Beverage and Batch 13; Montgomery County’s liquor stores also carry it.


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: 16 servings

  • For the tomato shrub
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • One 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups water
  • For the punch
  • 3 cups green chile vodka (see headnote)
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup tonic water, or as needed
  • Ice
  • Cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • Thin cucumber slices, for garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


For the tomato shrub: Cut each cherry tomato in half, placing them in a large saucepan as you work.

Add the canned tomatoes, pepper, salt, vinegar, sugar, rosemary and water, stirring to blend well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly and pressing on the solids to break them up. Let cool.

Meanwhile, line the fine-mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth; set the strainer over a large bowl.

Ladle the cooled shrub mixture scoop by scoop into the strainer, pressing on the solids so the liquids are captured in the bowl below. The yield is about 3 1/2 cups. Discard the solids, then transfer the shrub to a sealed container. Refrigerate for a few hours, until well chilled (and up to 2 weeks).

For the punch: Combine 3 cups of the shrub, the vodka and vermouth in a large mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate, then pour into a large pitcher. Chill until you're ready to serve.

To serve, add the tonic water (to taste) and stir. Fill individual glasses with ice and your desired garnishes, then pour the punch into the glasses.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (1)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 150

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 180mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 6g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 5g

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

Most Read Lifestyle