Sunday, April 19, 2015

Minty Cardinal Punch #SundaySupper

A cool refreshing beverage for summer time and outdoor picnics, this cocktail is full of mint and juice with the added touch of orange bitters. Leave out the vodka and add more ginger ale for a kid friendly version. 

If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you know that most Fridays will find us out in our Drascombe Longboat sailing around the channels and little islands offshore Abu Dhabi. We pack a picnic lunch that almost invariably includes sticky wings and snorkers in Thermoses. (Thermi?) In addition to the beer, cider and soft drinks in the cooler, occasionally we bring along a jug of rum punch, essential on Trafalgar Day, or Bloody Marys or Pimm’s. But mint has completely taken over my flowerbeds, so last weekend, I mixed up a batch of this cardinal punch.

There are a thousand recipes for cardinal punch on the interwebs, some calling for red wine, others for cranberry juice but I used this one from as my jumping off point. I couldn’t find anything cranberry but drink in my nearby supermarket so I ended up substituting fresh, unsweetened pomegranate juice instead, for a very refreshing cocktail to sip on the beach.

Lots of mint - put more or less as your supply moves you
1 lemon
1 orange
2 cups or 480ml pomegranate or cranberry juice (not drink!)
1 cup or 240ml orange juice
1 oz or 30ml fresh lemon juice
2 cups or 480ml vodka
2 cups or 480ml ginger ale
Orange bitters

Give your mint a good wash and spin to dry then pick the leaves off of the thick stems. It's so dusty here in Dubai that this step is essential.

Cut the lemon and orange into thin slices.

Mix your juices together in a big jug with the vodka.  Add the mint, some ice and the orange and lemon slices.

Finally, add in the ginger ale, a few generous shakes of the orange bitters and stir.

If you are transporting the drink to a picnic spot, pack the sliced citrus slices in an airtight container and put all the other ingredients into a clean bottle, except the ice, and pack some plastic cups. Mine fit into one 1.5 liter water bottle plus a little 330ml water bottle. Not sure why the orange bitters were still in the picture because I had already shaken quite a bit of that good stuff into the drink.

Keep the bottle in a cooler with ice and serve the drink glass by glass, adding ice and a slice each of orange and lemon then pouring in the punch. Make sure each glass gets some mint as well.


Many thanks to T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley for hosting this week’s Sunday Supper where we are having a huge virtual picnic!

Check out all the great picnic fare!

Main Dishes:
Soups and Salads:
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Our favorite picnic spot on a little island we call HMS Log. That's Abu Dhabi city in the background.

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