If you’re like me, the first few days of the New Year are a time for tightening the belt (or drawstrings of my writing sweatpants!) and sticking to a Spartan diet to make up for all the holiday indulgences. You know, bread and water . . . well, maybe just a little dab of butter on the bread, and maybe a nice fragrant black tea to infuse the hot water. But you know what I mean!
Now, just because I’m imbibing doesn’t mean I can’t still read about food . . . and drink. One of my fun book presents this year was The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart, a delightful tour through the history of “plants that create the world’s great drinks.” It’s fun and fascinating, and chock full of interesting recipes for both classic and exotic cocktails and infusions.
Just in case you still have guests lingering, here’s a fun punch to serve to a crowd—with the added benefit that it comes with an intellectual teaser! It’s called Five Trees punch—and how many of you can name the ones represented in the recipe? (This serves 10-15)
1 750 milliliter bottle of Lillet Rouge
24 oz. unfiltered apple cider
4 oz. bourbon
2 oz. maple syrup
1 apple, thinly sliced
Mix the first four ingredients in a punch bowl. Add apple slices and serve in short tumblers over ice.
So, how many of you have a ritual of staring off the New Year with a few days of very healthy eating? Do you have a certain indulgence you give up? I always do New Year’s Day with just fresh fruit, grains and sparkling water. No sweets, no butterfat, etc. I feel very virtuous . . . for a day. (Thank goodness it's january 2, and I can scarf down a piece of chocolate!)