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Boozy weekend punch recipes

Bartenders share their booziest punch recipes for Labor Day weekend

August 28, 2012|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

Though certainly unofficial, Labor Day weekend marks the last hurrah of summer. Whether you're hosting your own bash, heading to a friend's backyard gathering or just staying in with roommates, there's no better time to experiment with a new, boozy mix. Check out these recipes (each makes about a dozen servings) from local mixologists for some end-of-summer punch inspiration.

Craig Hiljus, beverage director at Small Bar

The Rosalee

9 ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur

18 ounces Hendrick's gin

6 ounces simple syrup

6 ounces fresh lemon juice

Leaves from 1 bunch of mint

1 thinly sliced lemon and 1/2 sliced English cucumber

1 bottle prosecco

Before you head out to your party, combine the liquors, simple syrup, juice, mint, lemon and cucumber. When you arrive at your destination, pour over ice and top with prosecco.

Paul Sauter, mixologist at Double A

Spicy Summertime Punch

2 750-milliliter bottles rum

2 cups pineapple juice

2 cups strawberries

2 cups of apples

Zest of 1 whole grapefruit, lemon and orange

2 cups of guajillo chili syrup (see below)

375 milliliters of dry sparkling wine (half a standard-sized bottle)

Frozen pineapple slices for garnish

To make the guajillo syrup, boil water, adding equal parts sugar and stirring until sugar dissolves. Tear 10-12 whole dried guajillo peppers (found in most grocery stores) and simmer them in the sugar and water mixture for ten minutes, or until it's spicy enough for your taste. Strain and chill. Slice and freeze all fruit. Before serving, mix all ingredients and garnish with frozen pineapple slices

Adam Seger, founder of Hum Spirits and drinks consultant at Farmhouse Chicago

Tipsy Peach Punch

1 pint bourbon

1 pint Hum Botanical Spirit

1 pint maple syrup

1 pint fresh lemon juice (about 8 large lemons) plus zest of 3 of them (optional)

2 quarts strong brewed rooibos tea (twice the tea, for twice as long as the directions say)

8 diced ripe peaches

Sliced lemons

Combine all ingredients, serve in a punch bowl or pitchers and pour over ice to serve. If you want a garnish, think mint or basil. This punch can also be made a few days ahead and refrigerated to really let the flavor develop; Seger likes to serve his after three days.

Adam Scholten, bar manager at Untitled

The Up-to-Date

12 ounces rye whiskey

6 ounces manzanilla sherry

6 ounces grand marnier

12 dashes of bitters

A good option for folks who don't want their punch too sweet. If the taste is too boozy, Scholten suggests mixing with orange juice or adding seltzer.

evanzandt@tribune.com | @redeyedrinks

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