Mixologist Rob Hanks of Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids prides himself on his creative concoctions featuring locally-produced spirits. Last year, his passion paid off when his “Shipwreck Rum Punch” was recognized as 2012’s top pick in the New Holland Artisan Spirits “Art of the Cocktail” competition.
Hanks says that he saw punch as a way to bring people together — a concept embraced by the restaurant itself with its communal-style seating and open floor plan.
“Shipwreck Rum Punch” features seasonal fruit (cranberries, grapes, raspberries and plums) macerated in New Holland Huron Rum, blended with more pure Huron rum, bourbon, house-infused cherry brandy, black tea and lemon oleo saccharum. The drink is then topped with Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine from Michigan-based L. Mawby Vineyards and garnished with farm market green grapes.
“Punch is supposed to be made in large quantities to share, which is what I was going for with this recipe,” notes the mixologist. “The drink is meant to be left overnight, like soup or chili, so the flavors meld together.”
Inspired by ArtPrize, the 3rd Annual “Art of the Cocktail” competition returns this October. For details, visit newhollandbrew.com.