Please, sir, I want some more.
There’s something about punch that’s extra festive and lavish around the holidays. While a pretty bowl of punch can serve a crowd with little effort (“set it and forget it” are truly words to live by), there’s also no denying the visual punch a large-form cocktail packs. Whether presented in a clear glass, cut crystal, sterling silver, or porcelain bowl, punch adds a delicious and decorative touch to a holiday party. And garnishing a bowl of punch is an art in and of itself—with the help of a Bundt pan, anyone can create a pretty ice ring that will also keep punch chilled and properly diluted.
Designed by Bunny Williams, this punch bowl was inspired by a 19th-century German Art Nouveau antique.
Making a great punch requires creativity, a willingness to experiment, and a solid knowledge of the classic punch formula: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak. A dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice.” Traditionally, “sour” meant lime juice, but you can swap in any other citrus juice or even a vinegar-based shrub. The “sweet” component can be simple syrup, maple syrup, agave, or a sweet liqueur. The “strong” is your spirit of choice, and the “weak” can be seltzer, tea, juice, or even a low-alcohol sparkling wine. Bitters can be layered in to taste—think of them as the seasoning that makes the punch pop. Ice is important for dilution and balance.
Here are six punch recipes that we’re loving this holiday season. As delicious as they are festive, these libations will leave your guests—you guessed it—pleased as punch.
Brûléed Grapefruit Bourbon Punch (via Kailley’s Kitchen)
Brûléed grapefruit juice adds a lovely tart-yet-warm touch to this punch, which also includes bourbon, Champagne or Prosecco, and sage leaves—perfect for a wintry night.
Charles Dickens’s Punch (via Punch)
For a showstopper, look no further than this classic punch named for Charles Dickens, who often wrote about punch in his stories. This version features cognac and rum, which are lit on fire and allowed to burn for several minutes before being served.
Holiday Spiced Wine (via What’s Gaby Cooking)
For a holiday punch that’s as aromatic as it is delicious, serve spiced wine, a festive mix of red wine, brandy, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and citrus fruit.
Coconut Margarita Punch (via How Sweet Eats)
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas (and who isn’t?), this decadent punch, made with coconut cream, will make it a reality, even if the weather gods don’t cooperate.
Horse & Carriage (via Saveur)
Citrus, gin, and chamomile are a harmonious combination in this punch that harkens back to the Prohibition era when gin was king. Garnish with pomegranate seeds for a pop of holiday color.
Satsuma Punch (via Garden & Gun)
Tangerines aren’t just for filling the toes of Christmas stockings. They, and their flavorful cousin, the satsuma, are also delicious in holiday punches, adding brightness and a tart-yet-sweet flavor. This refreshing version includes nutmeg for an extra dose of holiday cheer.
And here are our most recent stories and a few more that we think you’ll enjoy:
The Black and White Ball Hosted by Truman Capote
Hemmerle’s 125th Anniversary Party at the Temple of Dendur
An Interview with Salonniere 100 Honoree, Jane Scott Hodges
Not-So-Innocent Holiday Punch
The Salonniere 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
How to Create the Perfect Cheese Plate
Punch: The Six Best Holiday Recipes
Welcome Photo and Quote Mashup
Welcome Photo: Adrienne Ames, circa 1930, via Getty Images
Welcome Quote: Oliver, 1968