INTRODUCING CUSTOMERS TO
the sophisticated, surprisingly wide-ranging flavors of small-batch cider is just part of the job for Ash & Elm CEO and co-founder Andrea Homoya. Here, she explains how to to incorporate one of their top sellers into a refreshing drink for the last day of summer. To make a sweeter punch, add more basil simple syrup to taste or use Ash & Elm’s Semi Sweet cider instead. For a more potent elixir, add the suggested bourbon. For easy day drinking, omit the bourbon and add the optional club soda. Feel free to mix up the fruit by substituting plums or nectarines, as well as blackberries or strawberries. Mint is a good substitute for basil.
Andrea Homoya’s Summer Cider Punch
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 5 firm but ripe peaches
- 1 pint raspberries, plus more as a garnish
- 48 to 64 ounces Ash & Elm Dry cider (or other dry cider), well chilled
- 4–6 ounces bourbon, optional
- 1–2 12-ounce cans of club soda, optional
- Roll basil leaves in a tight bunch and thinly slice, setting aside a few leaves for garnish. Place basil chiffonade in a small bowl. Bring sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan to create a simple syrup. Pour warm syrup over basil and steep for at least 15 minutes. Strain if desired.
- Peel and slice peaches. Place sliced peaches in a large pitcher or punch bowl, saving a few slices for garish. Add raspberries to pitcher or bowl. Pour 1/2 cup simple syrup over fruit and muddle gently with the handle of a wooden spoon. Add bourbon, if using.
- Just before serving add cider to pitcher or bowl and stir gently. Pour into glasses and top off with club soda, if using. Garnish with additional berries, peach slices, and basil leaves. Serve immediately.