Doesn’t that just look lovely?? I was recently introduced to this poinsettia punch cocktail by a coworker, and immediately fell in love with it.
The flavor combo of berry, lemon, and warm spices is right up my alley, and the substitution of gin made it a no-brainer for me.
I hadn’t heard of poinsettia punch before, though in doing some digging apparently the more traditional version has an orange and cranberry flavor profile, and often champagne.
It’s a fairly common cocktail around the holidays (hence the name)…and honestly this recipe is entirely different. So much so, I’m not sure how it has the same name!
The original recipe (linked at the end of this post) is totally doable but honestly a bit complicated and uses some ingredients that the average home bartender doesn’t have. So I’ve worked to simplify it without losing the unique character you expect from poinsettia punch.
The biggest issue is the allspice dram, which you should be able to find at large liquor stores, but I don’t have one close to me. You can also try making your own, it looks quite easy. But for simplicity I’ve left it out here and added a dash of dried allspice instead.
I also already had these Woodford Reserve cherry bitters on hand so used that rather than the cherry vanilla bar the original recipe called (like these Bittercube ones), though I don’t think it will ruin the punch if you don’t have them. My assumption is that any home bartender should have Angostura bitters on hand.
First, make the simple syrup because you’ll want it cool for the cocktail. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil and then add the sugar and cinnamon sticks.
Stir the sugar in until entirely dissolved, then lower heat and simmer (not boiling) for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then discard the cinnamon sticks before storing in the fridge (it’ll keep for a few months).
Add the gin, Chambord, lemon juice, and cinnamon simple syrup (and allspice dram if you have it) to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Then add all the bitters, the vanilla, and the sprinkle of allspice.
Shake well and strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass with a single large ice cube.
Flame a 2-inch piece of lemon peel, wipe it around the rim of the glass, then drop it in as a garnish. Or go the route I did, and flame a cinnamon stick and add as garnish. Flaming a cinnamon stick is quite easy, but flaming a lemon peel takes a bit of practice. The Spruce Eats has a great article on garnishes that shows how to safely do it.
The delightful delicate pink color of this cocktail is so fun, without being cheesy. I had treated myself to a charcuterie board the first time I made it, and the flavors paired perfectly.
A few notes to make this great and easy…first, as with most cocktails, you DEFINITELY want to use fresh lemon juice here. And if you get your hands on some allspice dram, just leave out the sprinkle of allspice.
The original recipe calls for a vanilla bean to be steeped in the syrup, but the average person has trouble getting their hands on a vanilla bean so I just added a dash of vanilla extract (or paste) to the cocktail itself before shaking.
Whether toasting a special occasion or sipping on the patio, this delightful cocktail is perfect for any occasion and all year round!
For a twist, consider subbing in a small amount of cardamom simple syrup for a bit of the cinnamon-vanilla.
Other cocktails you’ll love:
- For warm spices: Bourbon Milk Punch Cocktail
- For lemon: A Classic “Army and Navy” Gin Cocktail
- For berry flavors: “Preservation Punch” Whiskey Cocktail
- Another use for Chambord: Peanut Butter & Jelly Whiskey Cocktail
Adapted from The Spruce Eats