On October 30th, PAMA brought together the famed DeGroff family for an evening of Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining with Punches. There's nothing that symbolizes the holidays more than family, which is why it made perfect sense to have the whole DeGroff family here, renowned bartender Dale, "King Cocktail" himself, his wife Jill, a famed saloon artist, and rising bartending star, son Leo. The father and son duo teamed up behind the bar to celebrate PAMA, family, holiday traditions, and the bartending profession.
The event was held at Apartment 13, where Leo holds court behind the bar. Concepted by Steve Olson and Chef John Keller, Apartment 13 is a family affair as well, with a cocktail menu just as superb as the food. To have all these people under one roof, truly made for an evening one can only dream of about being a part of.
In addition, given PAMA's commitment to the bartending community, this event kicked off the first in a series PAMA is hosting to honor the next generation of bar stars, with none other than Leo DeGroff as the first honoree. PAMA is the original, all-natural pomegranate liqueur that adds complexity, balance and a silky mouthfeel to just about any cocktail. Which is why it's called the indispensable modifier, and we believe, helps bartenders to become bar stars.
Leo has clearly recognized his father in paving the way for him to embark on such a career path. Dale has been credited with bringing professionalism back to the industry and changing the way that bartenders are perceived in that it's okay to be a bartender again; It is now a noble profession. This change has really validated a passion that so many in the industry have had their whole lives and inspired a whole new generation of up and coming bartenders like Leo. Leo says "It's fun to be a bartender in this industry, there's a lot of tasting and sharing among fellow bartenders. Every time I walk into a bar it's almost like walking into a classroom. Tasting new combinations of things we've never even heard of."
The evening was capped off with what better than a sampling of the three PAMA Holiday punches developed by both Dale and Leo. With the holiday season about to commence, holiday entertaining is on everyone's mind and punch is an excellent strategy for making this noble task stress-free. These three versions showcase the wide flavor possibilities of this libation and PAMA's power to enhance them.
Leo worked to find flavors that work well PAMA and it'ds all-natural pomegranate juice. It just so happened that these ingredients that worked well together ended up being four of my favorite things.
Peel the oranges and lemons. Make an oleo-saccharum by macerating the orange and lemon peels in the sugar for at least three hours. Muddle the mixture occasionally. Add the oleo-saccharum to a punch bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Add a large block of ice. Serves 25-30.
Leo's basis for this punch was to go for a traditional rum style punch. PAMA is perfectly balance between sweet and tart which makes it the ideal foil to rum's subtle sweetness.
Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl. Add a large block of ice. Serves 25.
Dale's basis for this punch was a drink that his family always drank at home for the holidays, an old fashioned, but made with brandy, muddled cherries and oranges. In this case PAMA took the place of the cherry for a new and festive twist. The nutmeg garnish is reminiscent of old colonial style punches.
Pour the shrub* into a punch bowl. Add the Cognac, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and pineapple juice to the punch bowl. Add spring water and adjust the sweet and sour with fresh lemon juice and/or simple syrup.
Remove skin only from 6 lemons and 3 oranges using a vegetable peeler, being sure to remove the skin only without the pith. Pound the peels together with 1-½ cups of sugar. Use a pestle or a muddler to pound the sugar and the peels to extract the oils. Leave a minimum of 4 hours and muddle occasionally. Pour in 1-½ cups of lemon juice and dissolve the sugar. Add 1-½ cups of spring water and stir. The mixture is now know as a shrub. Strain the liquid off the peels and refrigerate until use in the punch.