“I wanted to create a cocktail that kind of encapsulates the Filipino American experience,” says Napier Bulanan, who translates the ubiquitous fruit punch of family gatherings into cocktail form. A base of lambanog, a distilled palm spirit, is bolstered by aquavit, sweetened with lychee syrup and given a tart kick from fresh lime juice. The whole mixture is then clarified, milk punch–style, using coconut milk.
- 15 ounces lambanog, preferably Infanta
- 10 ounces Aquavit, preferably Ahus
- 7 1/2 ounces lychee syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 5 ounces lime juice
- 9 ounces full-fat coconut milk
Garnish: a spritz of pinipig tincture and an orchid
- Combine the first four ingredients in a large container to create a cocktail mixture.
- Pour the coconut milk into a separate large container, then add the cocktail mixture. Stir the mixture and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Line a large chinois with a clean kitchen napkin, and set it inside a large container. Slowly pour the mixture through the chinois. (You may have to pour it in batches, because the straining process takes time.) Pour the clarified cocktail into a reusable bottle and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, pour 3 ounces of the mixture into a mixing glass with ice, and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with a spritz of pinipig tincture and an orchid.
1 cup water
1 cup white cane sugar
1 cup lychee, chopped (peeled, seeds removed, if using fresh fruit)
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn off heat and add the lychee. Stir and let sit for 2 hours. Strain into a resealable container.
1 cup 100-proof neutral grain alcohol, such as Everclear
1 cup pinipig (flattened and dried sweet rice grains; can be found at certain Asian markets or online.)
Add ingredients to a resealable container and let sit for 6 hours. Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth, making sure to squeeze out any extra liquid from the pinipig. Pour tincture into an atomizer.