Stardew Valley: is there any game that better embodies relaxation and social reconnection? We’re taking that chillness to the next level with a bourbon-based fruit punch, made to share.
- 0.25 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz ginger snap simple syrup (see below for recipe)
- 2 oz orange juice
- 1.5 oz pear juice
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
- Stir for 10 seconds until chilled.
- Strain into a punch glass.
- Garnish with an orange twist (optional).
To make the ginger snap simple syrup, simply add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of brown sugar, a handful of chopped ginger root and a tablespoon or two of honey to a pan and heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain into an appropriate vessel.
If you’re reading this, you must be in dire need of a change. The same thing happened to me, long ago. I’d lost sight of what mattered most in life… real connections with other people and nature. So I dropped everything and moved to the place I truly belong. — Grandpa’s Letter to the player.
If possible, use freshly squeezed juices from your local farmer’s market—or even grow them yourself, if you’ve got the room.
Best enjoyed on a hot summer’s day surrounded by friends and neighbours. For best results, make a big batch and bring along to your next community event and/or barbecue.
If your neighbours weren’t your friends before, they will be after a few sips of this spicy, fruity, flavoursome treat. Here’s to a simpler life!
Want more from The Simple Life? Have a try of the easy variations/substitutions below!
The Simplest Life
Substitute the pear juice for apple juice.
Substitute the bourbon for Drambuie.
La Vida Simple
Substitute the bourbon for tequila anejo.
La Vida Loca
Make La Vida Simple and add two dashes Angostura bitters.
Why these ingredients?
The main drive of Stardew valley isn’t to make money or expand your farm or earn the most points with the villagers—though these are certainly goals you can strive for.
Rather, it’s a game that is based on the idea of escaping the hectic rush of modern day life, excising the stress that seems to be a mandatory part of it, and reconnecting with the social and natural world around you.
For someone like me, who grew up in the countryside of an English village, the game helps to scratch the itch in the back of my head that tells me to run off into the bush whenever a particularly troublesome stress bomb drops into my life.
I’m sure I’m not the only one.
To capture that essence of reconnection, I knew that we had to make something simple, preferably with ingredients that could be grown at home or at least obtained from the local market easily.
Any drink would also have to be able to be scaled up from a single serving—a drink that is best shared with neighbours is perfect for Stardew Valley’s premise of reconnection.
So the Simpler Life Punch was born.
The baseline spirit had to be bourbon for three simple reasons:
- It has a deep, dark but still sweet-ish taste that matches perfectly with the fruit juices.
- It’s a ubiquitous spirit that is available nearly everywhere—at least in the United States, where (I assume) Stardew Valley is set.
- There are usually inexpensive options that are still excellent (I used Wild Turkey, but Jim Beam would also work perfectly well), so the punch can be scaled easily.
The fact that the flavour always seems to remind me of the country was simply a bonus.
Orange and pear
This was a simple decision: fruit juices that are generally readily available in most places, and can be picked up from a farmer’s market and squeezed fresh without much hassle.
You could also substitute in some apple juice instead of the pear, if you feel like it—or if it’s easier to find. If pears aren’t in season, just go and grab a tin of canned pears and use the juices from the can.
Ginger snap simple
While the pear, orange and bourbon make up the bulk of the flavours, I wanted to add something a little different and a little memorable to an otherwise extremely basic fruit punch.
The ginger adds a touch of spice, the brown sugar a bit of depth and sweetness, and the honey that certain unctious something-or-other that rounds out the sour and sweet flavours of the juices.
For more video game inspired cocktails, make sure to follow me on Instagram for all the latest concoctions.