This vibrant, citrusy make-ahead Shochu Punch features four distinct tastes—sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter—coming from the fruits, flowers, honey, and aromatics that fill the punch bowl. Danielle Chang serves it at her Lunar New Year celebration, where citrus fruits symbolize luck and fertility. This punch may be garnished with a variety of edible flowers, microgreens, and citrus (such as a mix of clementines, lemons, and kumquats). Try floating some in the punch and freezing some in the ice cubes themselves; simply follow the instructions for chrysanthemum ice cubes, swapping in other flowers, greens, and fruits for the chrysanthemums.

February 2021

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Credit: Charissa Fay

Recipe Summary test

active:
40 mins
total:
1 day
Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Shochu Infusion
Chrysanthemum Ice Cubes (Optional)
Additional Ingredients

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make the shochu infusion: Add water to a medium saucepan to a depth of 1/2 inch; fit a steamer basket inside pan. Bring to a boil over high. Place dried ginseng in steamer basket. Cover pan, and reduce heat to medium; steam until ginseng is pliable, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer ginseng to a cutting board, and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

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  • While ginseng steams, stir together honey and 1 cup hot water in a small bowl until well combined. Reserve 1 cup honey mixture for chrysanthemum ice cubes; chill, covered, until ready to use. Set aside remaining 1 cup honey mixture. Place kumquats on a rimmed baking sheet. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, smash each kumquat. Transfer kumquats and any juices to a large lidded glass jar. Add shochu, ginger, jalapeño, goji berries, lemon peel strips, reserved ginseng slices, and remaining 1 cup honey mixture to kumquats in jar; stir to combine. Secure lid on jar. Store in a cool, dark place at least 24 hours or up to 1 week, depending on your taste preference. (You should taste the shochu once per day. You should be able to taste a noticeable citrus flavor and a slight bitterness from the kumquats.)

  • Make the chrysanthemum ice cubes, if desired: Stir together 2 cups boiling water, dried chrysanthemum flowers, and reserved 1 cup honey mixture in a medium-size heatproof bowl; let cool at room temperature 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, remove chrysanthemum flowers from mixture. Divide flowers evenly among bottom pieces of 2 (6-cube, 1 3/4-inch) ball-shaped ice cube trays. Secure trays with top pieces; pour honey mixture evenly into trays. Freeze 12 hours.

  • When ready to serve, pour desired amount of shochu infusion (the full amount serves 8) through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small punch bowl; discard solids. If using, remove chrysanthemum ice cubes from ice cube trays, and add to punch bowl. Add sparkling water, cucumber water, or juice of choice to taste. Top punch with pomelo segments, pomegranate arils, and Persian cucumber slices.

Tips

To prepare cucumber water, mix 2 cups water with 2 cups lightly smashed Persian cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Strain before using.

Make Ahead

Shochu infusion can be made up to 1 week ahead; store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

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