1 oz Gold/Aged Cachaça (Seleta)
1/2 oz Jasmine Green Tea, strong
1/2 oz White Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Ginger Syrup
Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass (alternatively mix and chill in glass with ice). Twist a lemon peel and grapefruit peel over the top.
About two weeks ago, Andrea and I submitted a punch for the St. Germain Rock'em Sock'em Punch Bowl Brawl. Our punch made the top 3 cut to be served at the event out of a few dozen entries! The recipe we submitted was slightly different than the one above, but it was closer to how we intended it. The major difference beside scale and chilling with an ice block was the syrup. When we crafted the small scale sample, I made a ginger-citrus peel simple syrup which involved making an oleo saccharum with grapefruit and lemon peels and sugar. The concept was to extract the oils out of the peels and into the sugar to make an "ambrosial essence" of the fruits. David Wondrich in Punch traced back the process to a recipe written in 1670. After that, I grated fresh ginger and muddled it into the oil-soaked sugar before adding warm water to make the syrup. The effect was stunning when we did it at a small scale.
Unfortunately, when it came to competition time, my scale up on the ginger was wrong. I guesstimated how much ginger I initially grated, and perhaps the effects of scale up itself (can effect spices and bitters) might have played a role. Therefore, I recommend using a ginger syrup -- commercial or perhaps even homemade -- to standardize the process. While the oleo saccharum added an extra layer of citrus wonder to the drink, the hour extraction in sugar might deter many people from casually giving this recipe a try. Plus, over the large portion of citrus juice in the recipe, the oleo saccharum's effect only added a slight highlight of aroma.
For the competition, I ended up making the tea and the ginger-citrus peel syrup to bring to the event. The ginger -- the key weapon in our punch -- while seemingly strong in the syrup was way too subtle in the bowl. Moreover, as the ice cubes (instead of a large ice block) diluted the bowl's contents over the two hour span, the tannins in the tea became stronger in the balance as the other flavors were diluted away. Our St. Germain rep Kate even asked if I wanted to spike the bowl with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, but I figured that it should stay as is and also I feared the explosion that would occur if the two feuding brothers' product met (then again, for a fightsport theme, it would work). However, the cachaça still did a good job in assisting the tea and lemon juice in cutting down the sweetness of the St. Germain and syrup, so that aspect went as planned. In the end, we placed second.