Wine Wedneday: 2011 trend punch at your reception bar

David Wondrich teaches and sharesWhen you think of ‘Punch’ what comes to mind?  Some fruit juice, with ginger ale and sherbert perhaps?  Well, you know that’s not how I roll (not that there’s anything wrong with it if that’s what you like!) but this is not about your grandmother’s punch.  Over the holidays, I was so lucky to have been invited to attend the “Punches From Around The World” event that the Cocktail Collective hosted.  Having no idea what it was going to entail, I’m thrilled to say I was pleasantly pleased and surprised.

Punch, actually became popular in the 1700’s as an alternative to coffee.  In fact, it seems that there were as many “punch houses” as there was coffee houses. In reality depending on where you lived, that determined the ‘secret ingredient’, so in London they may have used Brandy, in the West Indies – Rum and in the early days of the US, both Whiskey and Rum.

David Wondrich, the king of cocktails and author of “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl”, says that Punch, is finding it’s way once again into mainstream.  Punch doesn’t have to be boring and can have any combination to create a sweet or ‘savory’ flavors but it’s a way to bring people together.  His recommendation to couples who might like to trend “Punch-Bars” for your wedding related festivities:

Have at least 3 types of punch; offer your guests their own punch cup (a great takeaway) and let them have fun.  I can see this as a wonderful way to get your family and friends to mix and mingle.

To put this in prospective…Sangria by any other name is just punch.  You can use: Grand Marnier, Gin, Vodka, Appleton Rum, Jameson, Tequila and many other spirits or none at all. If you want a vessel to contain and cool your punch, I highly recommend Okamoto Studios. They are the kings of ice-ice baby! It’s a totally cool presentation.

So here are a few recipes that I’m hoping you’ll consider.  Oh which of the 18 punches sampled which was my personal favorite: Happy Hallow Punch (Maker’s Mark, Lustau Oloroso Don Nuno Sherry, lemon and ginger).

As always please remember to drink responsibly.

Martell Cognac Punch Royal From: David Wondrich

Note: To make a 1-quart block of ice, fill a cleaned 1-quart milk carton with water and place in the freezer. When frozen, peel away the carton.

The peel of 3 lemons, each cut in a 1/2-inch-wide spiral with a vegetable peeler
6 ounces (3/4 cup) superfine sugar
6 ounces (3/4 cup) fresh-squeezed, strained Lemon Juice
25 ounces (one 750-milliliter bottle) Martell VSOP Cognac
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Port
24 ounces (3 cups) cold water

Muddle the lemon peels and the sugar together and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Then muddle again and stir in the lemon juice. Add the Cognac, Port and water and stir. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. To serve, pour into a 1-gallon punch bowl with a 1-quart block of ice and grate nutmeg over the top.

Classic Rum Punch

1-cup Fresh Limejuice

2 cups Simple Syrup

3 cups Amber Rum

4 cups Orange Juice

4 dashes Bitters

Freshly Grated Nutmeg


In a pitcher, combine limejuice, simple syrup, rum and orange juice. Add a few dashes of bitters and some grated nutmeg to taste. Serve chilled over ice.

Tequila Grapefruit Splash

2 Quarts Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice

1liter Tequila

¾ cup Campari

¼ cup Triple Sec.


Refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Just before serving add 2 liters of ginger ale.

Winter Sangria

3 Bottles fruity red wine (use a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon)

1 ½ cup Pomegranate Juice

¼ cup Brandy

½ cup Triple Sec

4 Pears (cored and thinly sliced)

2 Oranges (thinly sliced)


In a large bowl combine all. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Before serving add 2 liters of Black Cherry Soda.

Bourbon Ginger Snap

2 quarts Water

1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1 cup Honey

3-inch piece of Fresh Ginger (peeled and sliced)

In a large saucepan, combine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.  Strain into a large bowl; let cool.  Add

6 cups Fresh Orange Juice

4 Cups Pear Nectar

1-Liter Bourbon

2 Lemons (thinly sliced)

Refrigerate for up to 6 hours and serve.


One thought on “Wine Wedneday: 2011 trend punch at your reception bar

  1. Pingback: Wine Wednesday: Two days and counting until the royal feast and Chocolate Biscuit Cake « Yours In Bridal blog

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