Santa’s Little Helper Cider Punch

santas-little-helper-holiday-vertical-crdt-lara-ferroniCinnamon, spice and everything nice—that’s what you’ll find in this warming cider punch from Chicago barman Stephen Cole. “Clove and cinnamon are natural flavors for the holiday season,” he says, “and the Angostura bitters, apple cider and sweet vermouth really echo those notes.” Best of all, it’s simple and fuss-free—just combine all the ingredients in a crock pot, heat and serve for easy holiday entertaining.

1 bottle (750 ml.) rye whiskey
1 bottle (750 ml.) sweet vermouth (Cole uses Carpano Antica)
1 gallon unsweetened apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
½ cup granulated sugar
10 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: crock pot, large spoon, ladle
Glass: punch or mug
Garnish: orange twist twirled around a cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and set to low for 1 hour before serving. Ladle into mugs and garnish. Makes 12–15 servings.

Tip: Is your crock pot already in use? To heat this punch on the stovetop, simply combine the ingredients in a large pot set over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Ladle into mugs and garnish.

Stephen Cole, Barrelhouse Flat, Chicago