Created for his grandmother’s birthday, Brian Hawthorne’s Strawberry Letter began life as a convenient way to serve drinks to a crowd. “A punch is much better than individual cocktails at this kind of gathering,” explains Hawthorne, “because no one is stuck making drinks, but everyone’s glass is full.”
Hawthorne’s crimson-colored punch is a summery, sophisticated combination of gin, Lillet Rouge and strawberries, turned effervescent with sparkling wine.
Shake and double strain over ice in a collins glass.
Top half and half with dry sparkling wine and club soda.
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 cup Lillet Rouge
2 cups gin
1 bottle dry sparkling wine
club soda to taste
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl or large pitcher.
Add plenty of sliced strawberries and stir in blocks of ice to chill.
Garnish individual servings with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig.