Champagne Whiskey Punch

Joy Richard originally made this punch for a summertime meeting of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), but it can easily be enjoyed all year-round.

1 750 ml. bottle Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
4 oz. rye whiskey
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
4 oz. strawberry syrup (see below)
Ice ring (freeze ice in a bundt or ring pan)
Tools: punch bowl, spoon, ladle
Glass: punch cups
Garnish: strawberries used to make the syrup

Combine lemon juice and simple syrup in the bottom of a punch bowl with a spoon. Add Champagne, whiskey and strawberry syrup. Place ice ring in the punch bowl. Using a ladle, circulate the punch over the ice ring to chill and mix. Add the strawberries used to make the strawberry syrup and ladle into cups.

Strawberry syrup: Cut 1 cup of strawberries into quarters and place them in a heat-proof bowl. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 cup of water. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour hot syrup over the strawberries and let sit for 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain out the strawberries, and set aside. The syrup may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Joy Richard, Boston