The many variations on the art and architecture of the flowing bowl make punch the category of drink that transcends season. Yet when I think of punch in all of its (generally) high-proof glory, I think of winter. And what do I dream of in winter? Beaches. And rum.
In most Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries and in Latin America, the solera system is often employed in the production of rum, making it sherry’s hard-drinking next of kin. Zacapa 23, a Guatemalan rum aged at high altitude via the solera system, is one of the finest rums on the market—bold and spicy, but lean thanks to its cooler aging locale. Both it and the oloroso in this drink have notes of citrus peel, which is echoed in bergamot-tinged Earl Grey tea and then Caribbean-ized with a strong dose of Angostura bitters and Velvet Falernum.
Reprinted with permission from Sherry by Talia Baiocchi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.