Congratulations! You’ve made it out of the “self-imposed prison” that is 31 consecutive days without a drink, as our veteran wagon-rider Andrew Knowlton describes the annual Drynuary challenge that’s had us all drinking seltzer with bitters for the past few weeks (or “Bits n’ Bubs” as food and features editor Carla Lalli Music likes to call it). Or you didn’t, but you can claim to have survived not one, but two polar vortexes, five awards shows, 14 days of food cleanse, the Cheesepocalype, and a New Year’s hangover that has hopefully begun to ebb. You deserve a drink—heck, you deserve a pitcher full of drink. Here are nine big-batch rewards to ring in a new month, and a new appreciation for booze.
EVENING IN KINGSTON
Sparkling wine and Jamaican rum make for a compelling riff on the Negroni. Plus, it’s a quick finish once it’s batched.
Makes 12 servings
1/2 cups amber rum (such as Appleton Estate)
1 cup Campari
1 cup sweet vermouth
1–2 750-ml bottles chilled sparkling wine
12 orange twists (optional)
Combine rum, Campari, and vermouth in a large pitcher; chill until very cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. For each cocktail, pour 2 oz. rum mixture into a Collins glass filled with ice and top off with 2–3 oz. chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist, if desired.
LEMON BALM HONEYSUCKLE
Makes 8 servings
6 tablespoons honey
2 cups lemon vodka or white rum
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh lemon balm leaves or mint leaves
8 lemon slices
Stir honey and 6 tablespoons hot water in a large pitcher until honey is dissolved. Stir in vodka and lemon juice. Add 2 cups ice cubes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Squeeze lemon balm several times to lightly bruise leaves; add to pitcher. Fill Old Fashioned glasses with ice cubes. Divide cocktail among glasses. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Peel from 4 large limes (green part only)
1 cup fresh lime juice
8 1/4-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar
30 large fresh mint leaves plus
10 fresh mint sprigs for garnish
1 cup Brazilian rum (such as cachaça)
3 cups ice cubes plus additional for serving
5 cups ginger beer or ginger ale
Combine lime peel, lime juice, ginger, sugar, and 30 mint leaves in mortar or medium bowl. Using pestle, muddler, or handle of wooden spoon, crush lime peel, ginger, and mint leaves together. Transfer mixture to large pitcher. Stir in rum. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Add 3 cups ice cubes to lime mixture in pitcher and stir to blend. Stir in ginger beer. Fill 10 cocktail glasses with ice cubes. Strain or pour cocktail mixture into prepared glasses. Garnish each drink with mint sprig.
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