The Family Reunion Cocktail

The Family Reunion cocktail reminds Klaus of a recent trip to the store named Porcsalt.  Porcsalt is a lovely shop in New Jersey that specializes in pork that is cured with, you guessed it, salt.

Klaus is very fond of salt cured pork products.  The remind him of the old country.  Upon his entrance to Porcsalt, Klaus saw a series of his family members from Germany.  They had many stories to tell Klaus about how they missed his unusually strong cocktails.  Uncle Hans and Cousin Franz told Klaus about the vast, iced punch bowls made with certain intoxicating liquors that caused Aunt Hermine to nearly fall down the stone well.  And how there was a historic punch made with vodka as the base that made her giggle and dance while singing, really belting Hank Williams songs out loud.  That is how she almost lost her balance in front of the deep well.   Uncle Hans thought it was very funny how her bloomers came up as she fluttered over the side of the well and how they all sat down afterwards and had several more glasses of this potent punch.

Cousin Franz busied himself with the herb garden while the punch was being assembled.  He took fresh lemon thyme leaf and rolled them into some raw honey syrup, then dipped the sticky leaves into brown sugar.  That’s raw honey mixed with boiling water until a light syrup forms, dipping the tender leaves into dark, caramelized sugar.. mmmm it makes a fabulous garnish he said in his broken English.  He then prepared the punch bowl for the adults by adding a large cube of ice, chilling it to a nice frosty demeanor.  Seizing the opportunity to get everyone in the household smashed for the family reunion, Cousin Franz added a large portion of vodka.  He had a hankering for vodka made in the old German method of using raw honey as the base.  Cousin Franz is very fond of this vodka from his friend Todd Hardie who owns Barr Hill Distillery in Vermont.  He also is very fond of those perfect little strawberries that only seem to pop out of the ground long enough to be warmed ever so slightly by the sunshine before being plucked by his little ceramic hands.  The strawberries are usually eaten before they get to the punch bowl but in this case the watchful eye of Brother Heinz was observing every motion of picking then placing the sweet fruits into a basket where they glistened with the cool morning dew.

Klaus was salivating at the thought of a cool and fizzy punch that he enjoyed today made by Cousin Rebecca while snacking on cured meats from PorcSalt. It was comprised of delicate Blanco Tequila with baby strawberries pureed then added to an ISI seltzer where they underwent a further addition of fizzy to sweet.  Now Cousin Rebecca said that this ISI seltzer charger is good for making a couple cocktails at a time served in small bottles for personal consumption.  Klaus doesn’t usually like small bottles of anything.  He is a punch bowl kind of gnome who likes to drink until he becomes, yes… soused.

The Family Reunion Punch is to getting swilled as darkness is to blissful sleep.  Yes you can drink this punch in large portions, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this type of behavior.  Klaus is good at drinking large quantities of intoxicants on a regular basis- but that’s what he is, a drinking gnome.  He rose out of the garden soil to enlighten us with his persuasive nature and wry ceramic smile.  Why does he have that flask in his arms?  What is this supposed to teach us?



The Family Reunion Punchwill serve as many as you think.. or fewer if you are really thirsty.


Put a Hank Williams record on the stereo- or click here: http://archive.org/details/HankWilliams-01-188  (in the public domain of course!)

1 bottle Barr Hill Vodka (distilled from raw honey)

2 quarts freshly squeezed orange juice

1 quart freshly squeezed lime juice

2 bottles Cava or Prosecco

(1 pint size) Frutations Rio Red Grapefruit Syrup

1 750 ml. bottle Pomegranite juice

2 pints absolutely fresh organic strawberries (like from Driscoll’s- lightly toasted in a cast iron pan, then pureed

Bottle of Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

Dashes of Angostura bitters to taste

Lemon Thyme, rolled in sticky honey then dipped in brown sugar for the garnish


Preparation:  Get that Hank Williams cranking on the stereo

Place some large cubes of Mavea “Inspired Water” ice cubes in a punch bowl (your ice is essential, use the very best you can make!)

Add a bottle (1 pint size) Frutations Rio Red Grapefruit Syrup- Pretty darned fantastic stuff, it’s a plump, exotic and aromatic grapefruit packed into each sip!

Add 1 750 ml. bottle of Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in Pink Grapefruit to the punch bowl

Add the freshly squeezed juices

Add the Cava or Prosecco

Add the bitters to taste

Check for sweetness, then….

Add the pureed strawberries and mix!

Garnish each glass with a few sugar coated lemon thyme sprigs

Use a coupe glass for this cocktail.  Sort of like an old fashioned champagne glass in shape!


Celebrate the family reunion with Klaus and his kindred family!!! 

Have any funny family reunion stories of your own to share?  Tell them in the comments section below




by Warren

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Teresa Jones

Thank Klaus for me too…I even have honey and lemon thyme on a planter on my porch, so with my brown sugar in my pantry I’m halfway there!!!

MelissaKlein Johnson

This is the very best story I have read in a long time,It is not far from a Klein Family Reunion do enjoy your holiday and congratulations on your pending marriage,love you both,Melissa