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Thirsty Thursday: Kazimierz World Wine Bar Punch Bowls

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by: Amanda Savage

Kazimierz World Wine Bar in Old Town Scottsdale brings big-city changes to their happy hour cocktail menu with punch bowls concept.

They say only bad conversations include the weather, but when thermometers hit triple digits in Phoenix — it’s the talk of the town. One of Arizonans’ favorite ways to seek refuge from the heat comes in the form of a softly lit, highly air conditioned lounge, restaurant or bar, accompanied by a refreshing cocktail and good company.

Kazimierz World Wine Bar is one of the most secluded locations in Old Town Scottsdale, which makes it a perfect place to escape from a summer day. The location is a spirit and wine lover’s hideaway; with no sign at the door, it’s a place that you already ‘have to know about’ to find.

Inside, a cave-like atmosphere is built with stone walls. Decorations of wine barrels, vintage maps and elegant furniture sculpt an old-world European ambiance.

Owner, Peter Kasperski, was ready for something new this summer, which brought forth the idea of happy hour punch bowls. Kasperski spoke with AFM about the inspiration behind his concept and shares the recipe of the bar’s most popular punch.

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AFM: What inspired the recipes for the punch drinks?

Peter: Our recipes are a homage to the past (classic recipes are a jumping off point) and a nod to the future (new products are often featured). Punch bowls are big in SF, Chitown and NYC — but no one here seems to be spotlighting them. We thought they would be terrific for happy hour. Plus, we can create a punch bowl from virtually any base spirit, from wine to rum, to bourbon and shochu.

AFM; What are the different types of punch drinks people can order?

Peter: We feature two different punch bowls every weekday from 6 to 8 p.m. The recipes will rotate. We expect the White on Rye Punch (white & rye whiskeys, apples, cider, clementines) to be a big hit as the weather cools off this fall.

AFM: What are the most popular punch drink people order?

Peter: So far, the most popular have been the tiki torch punch (multiple rums, exotic fruits and juices) and the claret punch (red wine, berries, orange liqueur).

What makes a drink “punch” and not just a cocktail?

Peter: Punches originated in India. The word ‘punch’ derives from the Hindi word ‘panch,’ meaning five, which is the number of ingredients in the original recipes: typically the rice/sugarcane distillate Arrack, spice, lemon juice, sugar, and water or tea. The vast majority of punches contain fruit/fruit juice, but it is not an absolute requirement. An early American rhyme illustrated the proper mixture of punch as “one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak”.

AFM: What can make drinks like this taste bad? Too little or too much of what ingredients?

Peter: Keys to keeping a punch in balance is acid-to-sugar ratio and dilution. The best way to control dilution is to utilize larger cubes, or just an ice block.

AFM: Why is punch great for summer?

Peter:Punch is convivial, historical, somewhat interactive, and can be wildly refreshing (in triple-digit heat) or heartwarming and festive (happy holiday punch).

Recipe for: Punch Drunk Tipple Time Tiki Torch Punch 

(Serves Two)

1 oz St George agricole rum
1 oz Charbay vanilla bean rum
1 oz Zaya amber rum
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1/2 oz Ferrand dry curacao
2 oz orange juice
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz mango juice
1/2 oz orgeat syrup
6 drops Bittermans tiki bitters
Ice (one large block if possible)
Garnish with slices of fruit (oranges, limes, pineapple, mango, maraschino cherries)

Follow Amanda on Twitter @Amanda_Savage

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