Pumpkin Gut Punch
Pumpkin guts are the stringy slimy insides of your typical Jack-O-Lantern that usually get thrown out and wasted, but did you know that they have more flavor than the rest of the flesh?
Many people don't know how or what to use the guts for because of their slimy texture and only focus on the other parts of the fruit.
But if I told you that you could use the guts to make a delicious Punch Bowl to share with friends at a Halloween or Thanksgiving party, you would think twice before throwing them out.
This punch is absolutely delicious and truly captures the essence of fall into a glass.
And you know what the best part is?
You can make a HOT or COLD version of it and it will work equally amazing for both!
Punches are communal sharing cocktails that are perfect for serving small to large groups of friends. They are served in what we call a punch bowl, usually with a ladle to self-serve yourself and your guests!
It works great for parties or happy hours because it requires little to no effort to serve.
The reason why this drink gets its name 'punch' is from the figurative image of a clenched five-fingered fist. Your five fingers represent the 5 essential ingredients that go inside one of these bad boys.
These ingredients are:
Acid (Lemon, Lime, etc)
Spice (Bitters, spiced, etc)
To make the Pumpkin Gut Punch, simply plug in the following ingredients into each section above:
Irish Whiskey (Spirit)
Pumpkin Gut Oleo (Sweetness/Sugar)
Lemon Juice (Acid)
Cinnamon, Cloves, and Lemon Pith (Spice)
Black Tea (Water)
Good, let's get down to the recipe.
Pumpkin Gut Oleo
The quantities of each ingredient depend on how much punch you want to make, but before you start, please make sure that you have AT LEAST the following amounts and equipment:
Pumpkin Guts (at least 150g)
1 Cup of Sugar (about 250g)
Lemon Juice (60 - 90ml depending on taste)
2 Cinnamon Sticks (Cassia)
10g Lemon Piths (or any leftover citrus pith)
2 Black Tea Bags (these can be leftover tea bags that have already been used once)
500ml Hot Water
250ml Irish Whisky (you can also use Rum or Brandy but will have to adjust the quantities)
Glass Measuring Cup
The first step to separate the pulp from the seeds by hand. This process can take some time, but you can always offer your punch to those who are willing to help! 😉
The second step is to make an Oleo Saccarum, which is made by letting sugar macerate the leftover guts of the pumpkin.
This is a recipe where you can make A LOT, but here I will list a quantity fit to serve 4 people. If you want to make more, simply multiply the quantities as shown in the Ingredients List above!
For every 150g of Pumpkin Guts, mix 1 Cup or 250g of Sugar.
Mix everything together with a spoon and you'll see that the sugar quickly dissolves with the pulp.
Make sure that you let this sit for just a couple of hours so that everything is properly macerated.
You'll notice everything gain more volume, intensify in color, and appear to be shinier than before!
Beautiful isn't it?
While this is sitting continuing to dissolve, it's time to make the other two ingredients on the list of a punch.
The Spices and the Tea.
Make a Tea
Place over 500ml of water on a stovetop or kettle and turn on the heat.
While you are getting your water up to a boil, place the following ingredients in a GLASS measuring cup.
You want your measuring cup to be made of glass AND NOT PLASTIC otherwise the boiling water will crack it.
Place in the empty measuring cup:
2 Cinnamon Sticks (Cassia)
10g Lemon Piths (or any leftover citrus pith)
2 Black Tea Bags
Please note that you can also use leftover tea bags that were previously used!
Reusing leftover tea bags has the added benefit of not including caffeine in your punches, but because they have been used once already, you will have to extend their brewing time by double the amount.
So if you have two fresh tea bags, you will have them sit with the hot water for 5min.
If instead, you have two USED tea bags, you will have to let them sit for 10min.
Once you have all the previously listed ingredients in a glass jar along, and your water has come up to a boil, pour it in until you reach 500ml.
Follow the brewing times and once done, remove the tea bags and strain everything else out.
Retrieve the beautiful orange colored liquid and get ready to mix everything up with your Oleo.
Mix Oleo and Tea
Now what you should have is roughly 200ml of Oleo and 500ml of Tea if you followed my same exact quantities. If the quantities are off by a little do not worry, you can always re-adjust this recipe at the end (that's the best part about making a punch)!
Combine the Oleo and Tea in a blender and blend everything for a few minutes.
Make sure that the gut strands get as finely chopped as possible.
Filter everything with a fine mesh strainer to separate the solid guts with the rest of the liquid.
Combine between 60 to 90ml of fresh Lemon Juice to your mix.
Start off with less and work your way up. The final result should be balanced, and because different lemons can have slightly different acidity from each other, you'll have to taste test as you go.
Finally, you have 4 of the 5 ingredients for your pre-bached punch, unless of course you want to keep this as a non-alcoholic sharing cocktail!
If you want this drink to be served cold, simply add 250ml of Irish Whiskey into the mix and you're done! If you want this drink to be served hot, DO NOT add the Irish Whiskey just yet, and continue with the instructions listed below.
If you want to swap the Irish Whiskey out for another spirit, you might have to adjust the amount depending on which spirit you use.
Dark Rum and Bourbon are a bit sweeter while Brandy and Rye will be more on the dry side.
Remember that this punch works amazingly when served HOT or COLD, but the process should be executed differently. So before you serve it, please continue reading.
P.S. I personally like this punch served hot!
Serve it Cold
If it's warm where you are, you probably want your drink to be ice cold!
Remember to follow the step of adding in your Spirit to the pre-bached punch and refrigerate.
Once cold, give it a good shake in the bottle and pour it over ice. Decorate it with a Pumpkin Skin Garnish to have as a food pairing snack while you sip on it!
Serve it Hot
If it is a cold day where you are, you may want to serve this as a hot punch! The advantage of having this drink warm expresses the infused spices much more, making every sip hit the spot!
Simply warm up your punch WITHOUT your alcohol in it, and once hot, serve it with the alcohol added at the end.
The trick here is to add the whiskey/chosen spirit LAST because if you choose to warm up everything together you risk evaporating some of your booze (and nobody wants that)!
Serve it in Irish Coffee glasses and with grated Cinnamon Stick on top.
You can even reuse the Cinnamon from the recipe as a garnish to prevent its one-time use.
And there you have it! A simply amazing Punch that can be shared amongst friends and guests during the Fall Holidays!
Stay tuned this week for an additional cocktail recipe that will teach you how to use it as a single cocktail ingredient like in an upcoming Spiced Pumpkin Punch Latte!