Hurrah, a summer holiday weekend — who’s making the punch? There’s no better way to entertain than by having a huge bowl at the ready. We think of punch as just a giant cocktail. All the same principles apply — you need a balance of sweet, sour, and boozy, ingredients should be top-notch — but the beauty is, you make a bowl once and you’ve got enough for everyone. Here are three of our favorites.
We wanted to have a little red-and-blue summer garnish without a total fruit-fest of a drink. So we found the perfect backdrop for fresh summer berries: a gin-lemon-Champagne, French 75-inspired punch. Since the ’75 is normally a pretty boozy cocktail, we’ve upped the sparkling wine here — we assume no one will complain.
Instructions: In a punch bowl, combine 12 ounces of gin (we’re using Beefeater), 6 ounces of fresh lemon juice, and 6 ounces of simple syrup. Give it a stir, then add ice and stir a little more. The second before you serve, top with one 750ml bottle of sparkling wine (Champagne if you’re splashing out.) Garnish with strawberries and blueberries, or whatever berries you want. (Makes 8 servings.)
Related: BROOKLYN'S BEST SUMMER PUNCHES
Plenty of oceanfront bars will serve you a juice-laden, way-too-sweet Planter’s. Here’s the real version. Originating well over a century ago, the first recipe for Planter’s Punch was simple: dark rum, lime, Angostura, and grenadine. It takes only a few minutes to make real grenadine at home, and once you have that in hand, this punch comes together in a snap. Use a great Jamaican rum, like the Appleton line, which introduce a very cool, funky backdrop of flavor.
Instructions: In a punch bowl, combine 16 ounces dark rum—we highly recommend Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old—8 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice, 4 ounces of grenadine, and 16 dashes of Angostura. Give it a stir, then add ice and stir a little more. Garnish with lime wheels and cocktail umbrellas if you’re so inclined. (Makes 8 servings.)
Rye & Ginger
In the summer, we love a mint julep, we love a Dark and Stormy, and we love a whiskey sour — so we tossed ‘em all together and came up with this simple rye punch. Pro tip: Slap the mint against your hand, gently, before you use it to garnish — that’ll release some of its essential oils and make it smell even better.
Instructions: In a punch bowl, combine 16 ounces rye (we’re using Rittenhouse), 8 ounces of fresh lemon juice, and 4 ounces of simple syrup. Give it a stir, then add ice and stir a little more. Right before serving, add 16 ounces of good ginger beer (we’re fans of Fever Tree). Garnish with mint in the pitcher or punch bowl, and more mint with each drink. (Makes 8 servings.)