How to Make Holiday Punch with Erick Castro

By Eric Slatkin, Blake Smith, and Roxanne Webber

Erick Castro, the general manager of Rickhouse Bar in San Francisco, shows how to make a great bowl of holiday punch by demonstrating the things that people do wrong, including using cheap ice (don’t water it down!) and reaching for poor-quality liqueurs (they’re loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors!). Do it right: Use fresh juices and good (but not too good) liqueurs; freeze a block of ice and chill your spirits in advance; and mix up the punch right before your guests arrive, adding the citrus and sparkling ingredients last for the best flavor and effervescence. Here’s Erick’s recipe for Champagne Holiday Punch. [Editors note, December 15, 2011: Unfortunately, you can no longer find Erick behind the bar at Rickhouse; he is currently working as the West Coast Brand Ambassador for Plymouth and Beefeater Gins.]

More Holiday Rights and Wrongs:
How to Brine a Turkey
How to Pour Sparkling Wine
How to Make Latkes
How to Make Pumpkin Pie

You’re Doing It All Wrong is constructive criticism. Don’t take it the wrong way: Just learn the right way.

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