A classy punch recipe can be hard to find. I cringe just a little bit every time I see a punch recipe with a gallon of sherbet in it. Just…why would you do that? Luckily, the good people over at Bon Appétit know making a cocktail in bulk is awesome around the holidays, and this drink was a great addition to our Thanksgiving menu.
Although the drink was great with dark rum, I just had to try it with bourbon since that’s the universally preferred dark liquor of choice in our family…and it was even better! (According to us).
One of the greatest things about this drink is you can make the simple syrup way in advance, and mix the drink in a pitcher or punch bowl before everyone arrives. The recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. It’s also great served warm. Leave out the club soda if you aren’t into getting fizzy with it. Geez, can we get any more versatile with this drink?!?
The New England Express
adapted from Bon Appétit
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1½ cups dark rum or bourbon
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
- Club soda
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 8 lime slices
Bring sugar and ⅓ cup 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.
DO AHEAD: Syrup can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.
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.
DO AHEAD: Thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters can be mixed 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.