Thursday, December 26, 2013

New England Express

The New England Express, from Bon App├ętit, is a great holiday punch. It's got a nice smooth flavor and it doesn't get you hammered so you can drink it comfortably for awhile. While this recipe is for 8 individual servings, I actually made a punch and put it out for guests to take cups as they wanted. You might want to double the recipe for a punch bowl.

Thyme Syrup
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup water
8 sprigs thyme

Punch
2 cups apple cider
1½ cups dark rum
¾ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
Club soda
8 sprigs thyme
8 lime slices

Thyme Syrup

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add thyme sprigs, and cover. Let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a small jar. Let cool.

Punch Assembly

Mix thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Divide among rocks glasses filled with ice; top off with club soda. Garnish with thyme sprigs and lime slices.

Thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters can be mixed 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Thyme syrup can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.

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