Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 16 – Persimmon Prosecco Punch. This crowd-pleasing punch requires a bit of prep work – luckily persimmons are much easier to come by than kumquats.
You’ll need to allow two days for the persimmon syrup and persimmon vodka to fully infuse. Not to mention the time it will take for your Bundt-pan-sized ice ring to freeze.
I’ve made this punch a few times and I would say it is a labour of love – mainly the assembly of the ice ring. You’ll only need one to one and half persimmons to compose the ice ring. Thinly slice the persimmon and cut down the length at one end to ensure the slices fit snugly into the Bundt pan.
Lay the slices in an overlapping ring on the bottom of the Bundt pan. Okay, that was easy. Now, take 10 cleansing breaths and channel your inner Buddhist monk. This next step will require both a steady hand and plenty of patience.
Using distilled water, this is important because distilled water will produce a crystal clear ice ring that will allow your guests to better appreciate the beauty of your craftsmanship and the pattern of precisely layered persimmon in the ice ring, very carefully pour the water into the Bundt pan until the persimmon slices are just covered.
If you are too heavy-handed with the pour your persimmon slices will immediately float and you’ll have to start all over again. I don’t know if there’s a better way to do this but if you find one, please comment below and share the knowledge with the rest of us.
Also, would recommend doing this in a silicon Bundt pan if you have one. The flexibility of the silicon makes it easier to remove the ice ring from the pan.
That being said, if you’re using a metal Bundt pan, like I did, just run the bottom under hot water for a couple of seconds until the ice ring comes loose, making sure to keep a hand under the ice ring so it doesn’t fall into the sink and break. That would be a devastating turn of events after all your efforts.
Make sure you give yourself a couple hours before your party starts to strain the persimmon syrup and infused vodka into your punch bowl, add the brandy, and lemon juice and pop it back in the fridge for an hour until chilled.
As your guests are about to arrive, pull it out of the fridge, put in the ice ring and add the club soda and Prosecco.
And now, let the compliments roll in as your guests are dazzled by your mastery.
Prepare simple syrup by peeling then chopping 1 persimmon. Place in a saucepan along with sugar and ½ cup water. Set over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Refrigerate for 2 days. Strain off pulp, then fine strain through a coffee filter or many layers of cheesecloth. Syrup will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Prepare persimmon infusion by peeling then chopping 2 persimmons. Place in a jar. Cover with vodka. Seal jar. Let stand in a cool dark place for 2 days. Shake occasionally. Strain off pulp, then fine strain through a coffee filter or many layers of cheesecloth. Infusion will keep well in a sealed jar for up to 1 month.
Prepare an ice ring by thinly slicin 1 – 1.5 large persimmons. Cut slices down in length to ensure each slice fits snugly in the bottom of a small Bundt pan.. Arrange overlapping slices in bottom of a small Bundt pan (that is no larger than your punch bowl). Carefully pour distilled water into Bundt pan until partially filled. Freeze for 1 to 2 days until solid. Ice ring will keep well, frozen, for at least 2 weeks.
An hour or 2 before serving, pour syrup and infusion into a punch bowl. Squeeze and strain 2 tbsp lemon juice and add to punch mixture along with brandy. Refrigerate for 1 hour until chilled. Just before serving, slowly pour in both Prosecco and soda. Add ice cube ring. Garnish each glass with a slice of persimmon, if desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe slightly adapted from: Walsh, Victoria. “Prosecco Punch with Persimmons.” Food & Drink. Holiday 2014.