The Rule of Threes


By Alex Jump

Published on October 9, 2018

Nodding to the Halloween episode of the popular sitcom 30 Rock, this cognac-and-sherry cocktail offers a subtle pumpkin flavor spice flavor with the use of a tea-infused simple syrup. Adapted from bartender Alex Jump of Denver's Death & Co. bar, it's the perfect autumn punch to please both pumpkin spice lovers and the rest of us alike.

What You Will Need


For tea syrup:

  • 12 cup sugar
  • 3 bags pumpkin spice-flavored black tea, such as Harney & Sons

For the cocktail:

  • 2 cups Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • 2 cups Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac
  • 1 12 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice tea syrup
  • 1 cup dry sparkling apple cider
  • 10 dashes Angostura Bitters


Step 1

In a small pot set over medium heat, bring ½ cup of water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, add the sugar, and cook, stirring until the sugar has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags from the syrup, squeezing to extract as much syrup as possible. Cool the syrup to room temperature or transfer to a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use, for up to 1 week.

Step 2

In a large punch bowl, add the cognac, sherry, and lemon juice. Add a few cubes of ice, stir, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 3

When you are ready to serve the punch, ladle the base into glasses over fresh ice. Top with a splash of cider, garnish with Angostura bitters, and serve.

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