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
This historic punch recipe originates from a 1711 British recipe, but The Varnish's Max Seaman made some modifications for the modern day drinker.
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.)
The blackberry shrub syrup base in this recipe makes a double batch. Make a second pitcher or forego the alcohol and mix with seltzer for a refreshing soda!
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.
Before the Bourbon Milk Punch (made famous in New Orleans), there was English Punch. Don't be afraid of the curdled milk—think of it as a science experiment. A very delicious science experiment.
The Fish House Punch was first concocted at a gentlemen's fishing club in Philadelphia. The original recipe called for peach brandy. In this modern version, Brian Dressel of Midnight Cowboy in Austin, Texas replaces peach brandy with a mix of peach liqueur and cognac, and tames the rum-forward punch with green tea, maraschino liqueur, and citrus.
At first glance, it appears to be a simple combination of gin and grapefruit juice with a splash of sparkling wine. When one tastes more attentively, hibiscus tea's tart and floral nature come through.
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.
Bright green from muddled mint and cilantro, this herbaceous punch from Lucky Robot in Austin, Texas combines Japanese and Texan flavors.
Missy Valentine's Year of the Dragon punch is an highly herbal and floral mainstay on the menu at Elizabeth St. Café in Austin. Fresno peppers and ginger beer add a zingy spice. The ruby red color is derived from a beet infused sake.
Rye adds a distinct kick to the other soothing flavors like apple, ginger, and fennel in this winter punch from Fino in Austin, Texas. Bergamot tea is the clean, earthy base that ties the flavors together.
This antique punch is one of the most consistently popular drinks at Husk.
'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.
Jamie Boudreau of Canon in Seattle tells us that many prominent figures in American history, such as George Washington, have also enjoyed this rum-forward punch.
A fruit-filled punch that dates back to 1862.
This punch smells like Christmas, with bobbing bits of whole allspice celebrating along with all the partygoers.
Grog was originally used to help prevent scurvy in British sailors, but with scurvy no longer a problem, it's worth keeping this version around for the easy-drinking citrus and cinnamon flavor.