There's something about punch that transports us back to the days of Dickens, and this warm milk punch dates back even further. It's a delicious, lighter-tasting alternative to a classic eggnog that doesn't taste as boozy as a hot toddy.
'Punch' on Serious Eats
One of our top tips for holiday entertaining is this: do not make drinks one by one. Do not shake drinks for each of your cocktail party guests. Do not act as bartender all night long, unless you want your friends to start calling you 'Grinchy' by the end. Instead of making drinks to order, it's much more fun to whip up a big batch of punch or some other large-format cocktail so that it's easy for guests to serve themselves.
"Punch is a loan word from the Hindi language, from the word meaning five," explains Will Duncan, the beverage manager at Punch House. "Punch is a balance of five flavors; it always balances strong, weak, bitter, sour, and sweet." This is the first of many lessons in history and mixology to be learned at Punch House, Chicago's first punch-focused cocktail bar, owned by the team behind The Empty Bottle and Longman & Eagle.
Five recent find that are up for grabs: vintage punchbowls that would make awesome party centerpieces (or gifts for friends who like to entertain.)
When Kate Bolton and Alex Smith sat down to develop the drinks list for Novela, they found themselves facing a familiar challenge. How can you reconcile a craft cocktail program with a high-volume, potentially impatient clientele? The answer: punch on tap.
Mixing punch is a fun and festive way to serve up cocktails without the fuss, especially for New Year's Eve. Punches are intended to encourage socializing—break out the big bowl and the ladle, hand everyone a glass, and the party has officially started. We polled a few of our favorite Austin-area bartenders for punch recipes, and the results are festive, bright, and easy-drinking.
'Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing gets a group of friends—or awkward officemates—jolly quicker or better than gathering around the punch bowl. We asked three of Seattle's finest drinking establishments to fork over their favorite punch recipes to share with you just in time for winter entertaining.
The Serious Eats Cookie Swap is one of our favorite annual traditions, when many of our writers and friends come in to swap and eat dozens and dozens of cookies. But I decided quite awhile ago that I wasn't going to play the cookie game. Nope—I was going to make the punch. This year we made three; come check out the recipes!
Planning a Memorial Day barbecue or picnic? Don't forget the beverages! If the weather's kind, you'll want to stock up on beer and stir up some punch or sangria to offer your thirsty guests (or your hosts). And don't forget the non-alcoholic options.
This pitcher drink is tart and cooling, with bright, fresh mint and only the slightest whisper of rum. It's a sweaty-day punch based on tart, fragrant hibiscus tea—think of it as a hibiscus lemonade for grownups.
Is there anything more convivial than a brimming bowl of punch? Once relegated to the dusty corners of Victorian nostalgia, punch has been making a serious comeback, with bartenders creatively combining herbs, spices, and blends of alcohol and juices. The sharable nature of punch (not to mention its good-cheer vibes) makes it the perfect addition to spice up your holiday party. Here are 9 great punch recipes from Prime Meats, The Drink, and Slightly Oliver to put you in a celebratory mood.
There is something distinctly fun and welcoming about punch, which helps to explain why this party-friendly drink is making such a comeback. These 3 recipes are a great way to highlight classic holiday flavors like cinnamon, cranberries, and apples. Best of all, since these drinks are non-alcoholic, the whole family can enjoy them.
Perhaps spurred on by last year's publication of Dave Wondrich's Punch, these convivial, sharable concoctions are seeing a decided resurgence. We like to think of them as the bar's equivalent to the family-style meal. We recently toured some of Los Angeles' best bars in search of truly delicious punches that you can make at home for holiday parties and family dinners.
Whether you're grilling in the backyard or gathering on a rooftop, chilling at the beach or on a boat, this weekend's going to call for a few refreshing beverages. Here are a few recommendations from the Serious Eats: Drinks team.
Oleo-saccharum is an ingredient in cocktails and punches that was relatively commonly used in 19th-century bartending as a way to provide an elegantly citrusy flavor and aroma to alcoholic beverages. It's also an excellent addition to lemonade, iced tea, and even vinaigrettes.
The large-format drink is the savior of the summer party. When everything heads outdoors starting with Memorial Day weekend, pitcher drinks and cooling punches seem especially welcome, and they can make hosting a barbecue or backyard get-together much more convenient.
The modern experience of punch is generally restricted to Jungle Juice or one of its cousins. But punch, as a class of mixed drink, is the parent through which we have come to know the cocktail, cobbler, flip, sling, frappe, and more. Enter to win David Wondrich's wonderful book on the history of punch here.
The first time I hosted a cocktail party, I spent most of my time preparing cocktails to order. The drinks were great, but it prevented me from having much fun. Making batches of drinks in advance is a much better idea—all it takes is a little math.
When your house or apartment is filled with people this season, and everyone's trying to snag an hors d'oeuvre, find or avoid the mistletoe and, above all, grab a drink, the last thing you want them to do is wait for you to pour glasses for the crowd. Fortunately, there's punch.