Looking for a rye-based punch to serve at Thanksgiving
If I could, I'd serve something along the lines of a rye-based sidecar. However, I'd like to tone down the alcohol content just a little, seeing as how I knocked out my whole party a few years ago with pumpkin-infused vodka martinis. I thought a punch would be the perfect solution.
Anyone have any suggestions that might fit the bill?
Check out David Wondrich's book, "Punch," for a great collection of recipes from which to choose, as well as proper technique. The book is focused on history and historical recipes, which seems to me to be a perfect fit for a Thanksgiving theme.
One thought is that using 100% rye for the base spirit might be a bit too intense. It might be nice to cut it 50/50 with some brandy, especially if you'd like your guests to return to the bowl again and again.
One of the recipes in the book, for an orange punch from the 1600s, would probably work extremely well in either case. Another great option might be a Fish House Punch, for which there is also a recipe in the book (or you can Google). That punch generally contains rum and brandy, but it should work quite well with rye. An even better idea, perhaps, might be to replace the (grape) brandy with apple, and use applejack (the bonded version, not the blend). Then you'll have something that fits in perfectly with autumn, Thanksgiving, and America.
... either way, let us know how it works out.