Apples to Aperol

Apples to Aperol punch.

Punch is the name of the game come holiday season.

Easily prepped ahead of time and finished with sparkling dry cider, this spiced, apple-centric, pitcher-friendly concoction is sure to please guests. Group cocktails also assure that you can spend more time with your family and friends and less time with a shaker in hand. Substitute non-alcoholic sparkling cider for a cocktail with a little less “punch” depending on your crowd.

If serving from a punch bowl, try freezing a large block of ice two days in advance. Fill a mini Igloo cooler with hot water and leave the lid open when you place it in the freezer for an impressive block.

Apples to Aperol

Sweetness varies greatly with cider so add more lemon juice to taste.

Serves | 16 |

Spiced Apple Syrup

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 4 allspice berries
  • ½ inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 16 oz cold-pressed apple juice

Spiced Apple Punch

  • 8 oz lemon juice
  • 16 oz spiced apple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 12 oz applejack, cognac or brandy
  • 8 oz Aperol
  • 16 dashes orange bitters
  • 60 oz dry hard cider
  • 12 oz sparkling water
  • apple slices, cinnamon sticks or lemon wheels (for garnish)

| Preparation – Spiced Apple Syrup | In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar; let sit for 30 minutes for oils to release into sugar. Add sugar mixture and all other ingredients to a saucepan. Heat over medium and stir constantly until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool and strain. Refrigerate until needed.

| Preparation – Spiced Apple Punch | In a punch bowl or pitcher, add lemon juice, spiced apple syrup, applejack, cognac or brandy and Aperol and mix well. Right before serving, add orange bitters, cider and sparkling water and stir. Garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and lemon wheels.