Bayberry Punch

November 15, 2012

  • 1 oz Bayberry infused Plymouth
  • 1 oz Barbancourt 8
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Earl Grey bitters

I came home with a strong hankering for the savory-berry goodness of bayberry. It stands among the more useable gin infusions I’ve made, perhaps because it adds only a moderate amount of sweetness, thereby cooperating better with the gin. The resulting infusion has a surprising funky note, so of course, I thought to pair it with a slightly funky rum. I knew I would be using lemon juice and syrup to create a lighter drink – might as well go for the punch varietal and add earl grey bitters for the spice note. With that, a flavored syrup would make it too complex to hold up as a punch, therefore just simple this time.

In all, it is a rather tasty drink – the sweet/savory bayberry hits the palate first, promptly followed by lemon and the funky kick of the rum. The bitters don’t play a large role, and I think they could even be upped just a bit, but I feel like the complexity is pretty close to perfect to keep a person interested in a large bowl of this one.

Bayberry-Plymouth Infusion:

  • 7 oz (by weight) bayberries, cleaned
  • 10 oz (volume) Plymouth

Soak the berries in the gin for 1 week, then strain and bottle

Earl Grey Bitters:

  • 1 tsp earl grey tea
  • 2 oz Plymouth
  • 2 oz 151 pr vodka

Infuse the tea for 1 week, then strain.  Blend with basic 151 pr vodka infusions of the following:  black walnut leaf, milk thistle, and fringe tree bark.  My proportions were 9 parts tea infusion to 1 part each of the above bittering agents.