Recipe: Summer Christmas Punch by Dani Pirotta

Mixed citrus Oleo Saccharum (lemon, orange and grapefruit peel with a few teaspoons of fine sugar)

240ml Bulldog Gin

240ml Camapri

A few drops of rhubarb bitters

360ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice

120ml rosemary and toasted cardamom infused sugar syrup

Enough good quality tonic water to top

Big ass block of ice

Place the dissolved sugar/citrus oils and peels at the bottom of a punch bowl, pour rest of ingredients, stir briefly and add your block of ice.

Garnish with citrus wheels, rosemary sprigs and poppy flowers if you wanna impress. Drink – eat – repeat – forget about it!

Buon Natale

Adopted Ozzy-Dan

When I think of Xmas tipples my mind jumps straight away into a plethora of heart-warming flavours and textures. I’m thinking something a little spicy, or maybe slightly nutty or creamy; something that, without overdoing it, would potentially complement a nice warmed and toasted, thick slice of rich PANETTONE. My favourite, typically Italian sponge cake like dessert, full of sultanas and “frutta candita” – usually covered in abundance with freshly whipped and heavenly fluffy egg and Mascarpone “crema”, scattered with tiny dark cocoa rocks.

“can’t-move-from-the-couch-for-a-few-hours-material” … trust me, been there a few times.

A great GOLDEN FIZZ made with our elegant BULLDOG GIN, a small whiff of FRANGELICO, choc bitters, a touch of spiced honey, fresh lemon and a big fat yolk would be perfect to compliment this kind of wintery dessert course, balancing all that thick sweetness with the sour, and on the other hand still keeping it X-massy with its velvety, faux-creaminess from the egg.

But hold on! There’s no snow out of my window and no trace of any big wood fireplace warming the living room up. I’m not surrounded by my loud family, cooking for an entire army and eating like Spartans (kids included) from lunch till … well, who knows when …

Reality of things is, I have been living in QLD for the last 4 years, and yes I did spend most of my 25ths of Dec with close mates and random people in a park by the beach, enjoying the warm summer sun, blue ocean and the smell of a chargrilled ton of good meat, great fresh salads and sides. Very BBQ-y. Very ‘Stayan – or is that just a stereotype?

Anyway, no mascarpone cream, tiramisu or egg drink would survive in this heat. That is a fact. So what to drink? This is the scenario: it is still “Chrissy” after all, and obviously there is a lot of food on the big table. Nice ribs on the bone, pork chops and lamb racks! Garlic, rosemary thyme salt and pepper. Hear the sizzling music from the grill … totally overwhelming! Leave the “crownies” and VB stubbies to the beginners and start getting creative instead.

Need a palate cleansing drink, refreshing to the max, thirst quenching. Something that will make my mouth and stomach go “RESET”, and get me ready for round 2, 3 or 4 of genuine meat overdose.

It’s a happy day, to be spent around people and with people. We are sharing food at the table, so why not, let’s share a big punch too!

One comment

  1. Legend!! You always take me on a journey…so well written. Punch it is this year!!! Merry Christmas Dani!! X

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