Make a Refreshing Two-Ingredient Cocktail With Lemonade and Punt e Mes

Make a Refreshing Two-Ingredient Cocktail With Lemonade and Punt e Mes
Photo: Claire Lower

Last night, I had some co-workers over to drink wine, eat pork, and shoot some arrows with my new compound bow. It went well (with only one slight injury), but I am very tired today. So tired, in fact, that the idea of squeezing citrus fruit amongst the dirty dishes and empty wine bottles is far too much for me to handle. Luckily, I had the foresight to buy a bottle of strawberry lemonade yesterday afternoon.

My original plan was to make a sour with Punt e Mes, but why measure sticky syrup or squeeze lemons or limes when store-bought lemonade comes pre-packed with sugar and citrus (and, in this case, strawberry juice)?

For those of you not familiar with Punt e Mes, it’s like sweet vermouth, except bitter, and that (pretty pronounced) bitterness makes it an excellent partner for sugary, lemony beverages. (As an added bonus for the lazy: This drink only contains two ingredients.)

You could just pour equal parts of the two liquids into a glass with a lot of ice, but I highly recommend shaking them up to get some air in there. The extra dilution and aeration keep things from getting syrupy and ensures the cocktail reads as light and refreshing, instead of thick and bitter. Try shaking it with one big cube, and shake it hard; you’ll know you did it right if there’s a nice little layer of foam on top. To make this surprisingly refreshing two-ingredient cocktail, you will need:

  • 45 ml store-bought lemonade (I really like Trader Joe’s strawberry lemonade)
  • 45 ml Punt e Mes

Pour both ingredients into a cocktail shaker with one large ice cube and shake hard. Strain into a coupe glass and sip. If you really want a third ingredient, you can add a strip of lemon or lime zest, but it really isn’t necessary.

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