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AM Punch: Not your morning dose of tequila (or how to win her heart and a cocktail competition too)

July 23, 2009 |  1:23 pm

Marcosamy

AM Punch: It sounds like it's for breakfast, but its etymology is more romantic.  

The recipe for bartender Marcos Tello's punch (published with a story about bartenders' guilds in this week's Food section) was named for his girlfriend, Amy. (It also was the winner of this month's St-Germain second annual Can Can Classic in New York.)

"My girlfriend and I were sitting around the kitchen table one day talking about her favorite cocktails," Tello said. "Her favorite cocktail has always been one from Eric Alperin [of the Varnish]. And the first cocktail I ever made her was a recipe from Damian Windsor," of the Roger Room. So it was glaringly obvious that Tello needed to make his own cocktail for her. 

Then he got the bright idea: "Why don’t I make a cocktail for both of us?" Her favorite spirit is añejo tequila and his is Applejack. It came together as he was preparing to go to the St-Germain competition in New York. Hence, the elderflower liqueur. (It's a delicious combination of tequila, bonded and blended Applejack, St-Germain, almond syrup and Champagne.)

"I thought it’d be way better as a punch," Tello says. "I called it the AM Punch. The A is for Amy and the M for Marcos. But people think it's AM as opposed to PM. But it works that way too. Because she’s the first person I wake up to in the morning." [I don't know about you, but I'm verklempt!]

"I competed in the first annual St-Germain competition and lost," Tello says. This time, "I think the name worked in my favor. The judges asked me about the name and I got a lot of 'awww's."  

Please see the recipe after the jump.

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Amy Brunton and Marcos Tello. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.

AM Punch

Thin-cut peels of 3 lemons

3 heaping bar spoons (or teaspoons) superfine sugar

6 ounces añejo tequila (preferably Partida)

3 ounces blended Applejack brandy

3 ounces bonded Applejack brandy

6 ounces St-Germain elderflower liqueur

6 ounces fresh lemon juice

4 ounces Monin almond syrup

12 ounces Champagne

Grated cinnamon for garnish

1. In a medium bowl, muddle the lemon peels with superfine sugar. Stir in the tequila, blended Applejack, bonded Applejack, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and almond syrup, and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Stir in ice to chill. Strain into a punch bowl over a large block of ice, top with the Champagne, and grate fresh cinnamon over the top. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 169 calories; 0 protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 mg. sodium.

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