Developed by Paddy O’Brien of the cocktail consultant team All in Good Spirits, this flavorful punch balances the bite of sherry and corn whiskey with nutty homemade orgeat syrup and fresh citrus juice. Orgeat syrup, more typically made with almonds, is a delicious addition to cocktails that was made famous with the mai tai. This walnut version can be made up to two weeks in advance.
For the Walnut Orgeat Syrup
- 2 1⁄4 cups raw walnuts
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1⁄4 tsp. rose water
For the Punch
- 1 1⁄4 cups Amontillado Sherry
- 1 1⁄4 cups moonshine or white whiskey, such as Buffalo Trace White Dog
- 1 cup walnut orgeat
- 5 oz. lemon juice
- 2 1⁄2 oz. fresh orange juice
- 1⁄2 oz. bitters
- Strips of lemon or orange peel, for garnish
- Make the Orgeat Syrup: Roughly chop the walnuts and place in a medium bowl. Cover with 3 ½ cups water and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain, discarding water. In a blender or food processor, pulse the walnuts until they resemble a course meal. Return the ground walnuts to the bowl and cover with another 3 ½ cups water. Soak for four to five hours, stirring occasionally. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a 1-liter glass jar with a lid, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the walnuts. Add sugar, vodka, and rose water, close the lid tightly and shake jar vigorously several times over a period of 15 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerated, the walnut orgeat syrup will keep for up to two weeks.
- Make the Punch: Combine sherry, whiskey, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, orange juice, and bitters in a punch bowl or large pitcher, mix well, add about two cups of ice, and garnish with citrus peel. To serve, garnish each glass with a strip of orange or lemon peel, and add more ice if desired.