Fourth of July Star-Spangled Pisco Punch Recipe

If you're looking for a last-minute punch to prepare for July 4th guests, look no further: This Pisco Punch is distinctive, pretty to present, and it refreshes in a light, lemony fashion. Plus this is, after all, Miami, where pisco is particularly popular among our Peruvian populace.

Thing is, this recipe utilizes Chilean Pisco. It's created by distilling wine made from grapes grown in the Coquimbo and Atacama regions of the country -- with water from the majestic Andes. It rests for a minimum of 60 days before bottling. Numerous brands are sold around town. Alto Del Carmen ($16.99) and Kappa Pisco ($26.99) are two labels available at Sunset Corners Fine Wine & Spirits in South Miami.

Now nobody is saying you can't use Peruvian pisco in the recipe, but you might want to give one of the Chilean brands a try. Either way, think of this as a modern day patriotic American punch.

Star-Spangled Punch
Recipe by David Wondrich

The peels of three lemons, each cut into spirals with a vegetable peeler
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
1 750-ml bottle of Chilean Pisco
1 quart cold water
1 star fruit

Muddle the lemon peels and the sugar together and let sit for at least 90 minutes. Muddle lemon and sugar again and stir in the lemon juice. Add the pisco and the water and stir. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Before serving, cut star fruit into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. To serve, pour into a one gallon punch bowl with a large block of ice in it and float star fruit slices.

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