10 Easy, Make-Ahead Punches for Labor Day Drinking
Prep for Labor Day like a pro.
You’ve put in a lot of hard work this summer doing things like trekking out to the beach, hiking around lakes and eating every fried delicacy at the state fair, so kick off your shoes, grab a cocktail and relax this Labor Day! These ten refreshing party punches can all be made ahead of time, perfect for Labor Day entertaining.
1. Po Po Punch
This citrusy, tiki-style punch features orange-spiced Ramazzotti Amaro (a bittersweet herbal Italian digestif) and homemade orange cordial.
"With this punch, I wanted to re-create classic tiki flavors," says bartender Erick Castro. "They highlight the botanicals in the gin and the playful funkiness you can only get from Jamaican rum." The drink's uncommon garnish—a pinch of cinnamon—accents the rum.
This sweet-tart, aromatic punch gets a ton of flavor and a rosy hue from pomegranate juice that’s reduced to a syrup with fresh ginger and cardamom. St. Germain elderflower liqueur adds fragrant sweetness.
Fresh-tasting, young Vinho Verde from Portugal is the base for this cooling, cucumber-y punch.
Padma Lakshmi says, "When I was a child, the only way I would drink milk—the unhomogenized kind you get in India—was if my granny swirled a couple of teaspoons of rose syrup into it. Today, I love the floral accent and the frilly pink tinge it gives mixed drinks."
This punch features sweet lime juice, dark rum, cilantro and ginger, which gives it a little spice.
Classicist bartenders have resurrected the centuries-old ritual of the formal punch service. Here, a potent concoction is named after the old British slang for gin.
Bartender Phil Ward is obsessed with traditional recipes, which he learns by heart (he has a photographic memory), then tweaks. He cools his Kill Devil Punch with a block of raspberry ice that releases berries into the bowl as it melts.
This cooler is great for summer parties. Multiply each ingredient by the number of guests you're expecting, mix everything except the ginger beer and garnishes in a punch bowl and chill. Add a large block of ice (or ice cubes) and the ginger beer just before serving.
Bartender Gui Jaroschy sweetens this rye and beer punch with an easy caraway syrup. For a cheeky garnish, he places two bottles of Miller High Life in the punch bowl.