Six Summer Punch Recipes from Six Elite Bartenders

By Dan Dunn |

© Taryn Kapronica

What happens when we ask six of the biggest names in American bartending for original summer punch recipes? This is what happens. Lucky us. Now, let’s party!

El Diablo Punch

By Jeffrey Morgenthaler

8 lemons, peeled

18 oz. sugar

16 oz. strong hot black tea

1.5 liters silver tequila

250 ml crème de cassis

750 ml fresh lime juice

3 liters soda water, chilled

1 ice block

Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Muddle lemons into the sugar and let sit for 1 hour or until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the hot black tea and stir to dissolve the remaining sugar. In a large punch bowl, combine the tea mixture with the tequila, crème de cassis and lime juice. Stir. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before serving, add the chilled soda water and an ice block to the punch bowl. Grate nutmeg over the top and serve.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler is the bar manager at Clyde Common and Pépé Le Moko in Portland, Oregon, and author of the best-selling The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique (Chronicle Books).

The Celtic Guey (pronounced “h-WAY”)

By Lucinda Sterling

Serves 10

7.5 parts blended Scotch

7.5 parts reposado tequila

10 parts St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur

5 parts simple syrup (use equal parts superfine granulated sugar and water)

5 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice

2.5 parts freshly squeezed orange juice

20 drops Cocktail Punk smoked orange bitters

Mint sprigs, for garnish

Brandied or fresh cherries, for garnish

Combine all of the ingredients, except the garnishes in a pitcher. Serve over ice in rocks glasses. Garnish with a mint sprig and brandied (or fresh) cherry.

Lucinda Sterling is managing partner of Middle Branch, in New York City.

Pisco Daisy

By Lindsay Nader

Lindsay says: “This is a popular San Francisco variation of a Pisco punch. It’s super easy, light, summery and refreshing.”

Serves 8

Nader says: “This is a popular San Francisco variation of a pisco punch. It’s super easy, light, summery and refreshing.”

16 oz. pisco (Encanto Acholado is recommended, but any Acholado pisco will do)

8 oz. fresh lime juice

4 oz. pineapple gomme syrup (Small Hand Foods is recommended)

4 oz. grenadine (mixing equal parts Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and sugar is recommended)

Fresh berries, for garnish

Combine all of the ingredients, except the berries, in a large punch bowl. Add ice and stir. Serve garnished with fresh berries.

Lindsay Nader is a partner at San Diego’s Juice, and a former bartender at Harvard & Stone, Pour Vous and PDT.

Silk City Punch

By Sean Kenyon

Serves 16 to 20


Kenyon says the esteemed cocktail historian David Wondrich once told him “that every great punch tastes like delicious ice tea or lemonade. This one tastes like a refreshing peach tea.”

24 oz. Beefeater 24 gin

8 oz. Mathilde Pêche

8 oz. Domaine de Canton

16 oz. strained freshly squeezed lemon juice

32 oz. strong brewed Republic of Tea Darjeeling tea (1 bag per 4 ounces), cooled

8 dashes Angostura bitters

 4 to 6 oz. simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water), to taste

Freshly grated nutmeg, lemon wheels and fresh peach slices, for garnish

In a large container combine all of the ingredients, except the simple syrup and garnishes. Then add the simple syrup 2 ounces at a time, to taste. Pour into a punch bowl over a large ice block. Grate nutmeg over the top, and float lemon wheels and peach slices before serving.

Sean Kenyon is a third-generation barman and proprietor of Williams & Graham in Denver.

“Ol’ Man Winter’s Summer Pisco Punch”

By Dave Kupchinsky

Serves 4

6 oz. pisco

1 oz. Batavia-Arrack

2 oz. freshly pressed pineapple juice

2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

3 oz. house-made Spiced Pineapple Syrup*

Combine all of the ingredients. Shake and strain over ice.

* Spiced Pineapple Syrup

½ cup black pepper

4 cups water

1 quart sugar

5 vanilla beans

5 pieces star anise

1 quart pineapple

Combine the pepper and 1 cup of the water, simmer on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add the remaining 3 cups of water, the sugar, vanilla beans and star anise; bring to a boil on high heat. Let the mixture cool, then add the pineapple.

Dave Kupchinsky is the head barman at Eveleigh in Los Angeles.

Wizard of Punch

By Pamela Wiznitzer

To make a block of ice for the punch bowl, Wiznitzer suggests using a Bundt pan as a mold: Just freeze water in it overnight.

12 oz. Louis Royer Force 53 Cognac (specifically this Cognac, because it’s overproof)

12 oz. Amaro Montenegro

36 dashes Angostura bitters

9 oz. rooibos tea

6 oz. lemon juice

9 oz. pineapple juice

6 oz. honey syrup*

Pineapple, lemon wheels and freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Combine all of the ingredients, except the garnishes, in a punch bowl with a large ice block. Garnish with chunks of pineapple, lemon wheels and freshly grated nutmeg before serving.

*Honey syrup:

Combine 4 oz. of honey with 2 oz. of hot water. Stir until dissolved and the honey is thinned out.

Pamela Wiznitzer tends bar at the Dead Rabbit in New York City. She is the president of the NYC chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild.

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