Punching it up
Lets talk about punch.
It can be a delight to the tastebuds or evidently a punch in the stomach. Preferably, I go for option a. There is nothing I despise more than a bowl of fizzed up sugary nail polish remover with three kilos of fruit salad bobbing around the bucket, waiting for their unpredicted fate.
I don’t like fruit salad. It is boring as hell. The worst kind you can get is on the airplane, as a half frozen dessert component of your western vegetarian meal. The best is possibly the one you make at home, made with a maximum of 4 different fruit at the peak of their season. Less is more. I feel the same about punches. The fewer fruit, the better. Let their individual personalities shine baby, let them be the centrepiece of the tastebud tango.
In this case, it’s just peaches. White peaches. Their alluring, fruity sexiness, combined with the musky aroma of the vanilla seeds – their combined effort results in what I like to call “the little black dress of punch.”
White Peach and Vanilla Punch
Now I don’t have to tell you that this will be no good if the peaches aren’t ripe, or even worse, if you use the tinned version. All good? Bring out your best crystal, lover.
Makes lots, or a bit over 2.5 Litres
6 beautifully ripe white peaches
½ lemon, juice
2 tsp vanilla paste, or 2 vanilla pods, seeds
200g icing sugar
1 bottle (7 1/2 dl) of white wine
1 bottle (71/2 dl) champagne or prosecco
1 Litre of sparkling mineral water
Now first, we’re going to skin the peaches. Score a cross across the bottom of each one, then place them in a large bowl or plastic container. Fill up the kettle with water and bring to the boil. Pour over the peaches and let them soak for 2-4 minutes, or until the skins come off easily when poked with a finger. Drain, then pull the skins off. Now chop the flesh into eensy squares and put them back into the container. Squeeze over the lemon juice and add the vanilla paste, or the scraped out vanilla seeds. Stir in the icing sugar and add the bottle of wine. Swirl with a spoon to make sure all the icing sugar is dissolved, then cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably up to six. Then, when ready to serve, crack open the champers and the sparkling water and add to the mix. You may want to transfer everything (before adding the bubbles) into a fancier bowl, but I leave that up to you.