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This Whisky-Tea Punch Is Like an Arnold Palmer on Steroids

This Whisky-Tea Punch Is Like an Arnold Palmer on Steroids: Colin Campbell / Flickr

Colin Campbell / Flickr

So today you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Underneath it. As a public service to the hungover, every week we track down the best bartenders in America and ask them to share their favorite hair-of-the-dog remedies. This week we’ve got a spicy Arnold Palmer that will make you feel more rejuvenated and refined with every sip.

THE SPECIALIST: Abigail Gullo, bar chef at SoBou in New Orleans

HER ELIXIR: HOOCH PUNCH

Bittermens Spirits

Bittermens Spirits

ITS ORIGINS: Bittermens, a spirits company based in New Orleans, screwed up while making its traditional, European-style bitter orange and gentian aperitif. During an early mixing sesh, someone accidentally moved a decimal point in the recipe and added ten times as much cinnamon than was called for. The liqueur didn’t taste anything like it was supposed to, but the craftsmen loved it. They named it “Hiver Amer” (the Winter Bitter) because the wallop of cinnamon adds complexity to cold weather cocktails—and weirdly, tiki drinks—without piling on the sugar.

ITS HEALING POWERS: Abigail Gullo, bar chef at SoBou restaurant in New Orleans, serves a punch featuring Hiver Amer on her boozy brunch menu. “We don’t call it punch for nothing,” she says. “It’s strong.” Her Hooch Punch recipe is made like a classic punch from the 1700s: alcohol, tea, citrus and sugar. “This punch is like the best Arnold Palmer you’ve ever had. And it’s got this deep spiciness with the cinnamon bitters.”

To make the punch, Gullo relies on a classic method called oleo-saccharum, which in Latin means to mix sugar with oil. She muddles lemons with sugar and lets it sit. The oils from the citrus peels are extracted into the sugar and turn the sugar into a paste. “That’s the base of the punch,” she says. “It’s really floral and fragrant and citrusy.” Then she adds Satsuma juice—a citrus fruit abundant in Louisiana this time of year—and strong black tea and booze. “You get a little caffeine from the tea and the dry tannins kind of make your mouth go ‘yeah, alright, now I’m ready to eat.’”

She pours the punch tableside from a giant stainless steel flask. “Punch was meant to be served in a big bowl, but then sipped a little at a time, out of tiny cups, with good company,” she says. “It’s like you’re all doing sophisticated shots. That’s the other cure for a hangover: Get together with your friends, drink and hash out your stories from last night.”

GULLO LEARNED FROM THE BEST: “I’m Irish and I spent some time living in Dublin,“ she says. "There’s no hangover as bad as an Irish hangover. But you drink hot cups of milky, sugary tea in the morning and it’s the perfect tonic.”

HOOCH PUNCH

(makes 9 ½ cups)

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) Powers Irish whisky
  • 750 mL (25 oz.) strong Assam tea
  • 8 oz. fresh Satsuma juice, plus zest
  • 8 oz. fresh lemon juice, plus zest
  • 8 oz. Sugar in the Raw
  • 2 oz. Bittermens Hiver Amer
  • 1 oz. rosewater syrup (available at Middle Eastern grocery stores)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
  • Satsuma peel, for garnish

In a large punch bowl, toss the Satsuma and lemon zests with the sugar. Muddle well. Let sit for one hour. Add Satsuma and lemon juices, tea, whiskey, liqueur and rosewater syrup. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain, chill and serve with a dash of grated nutmeg. Garnish with Satsuma peel.


Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep


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