Though mostly relegated to history, punch has a long history as a party drink of choice. It's a product of the British colonization of India — a concoction for British East India Company sailors made from Indian liquor, citrus and spices, with tea or, later, wine and Champagne to keep the flavor from getting too sticky. Today, punch offers party planners a happy medium between the complexity of a cocktail and the ease of a mimosa. We spoke to three excellent Springs bartenders and asked for their favorite recipes, presented below for your perusal and, we hope, enjoyment.
Warehouse wunderkind and executive bartender Stephen Winchell draws from a whiskey smash and a vermouth cobbler — Prohibition-era standards — for this drink. "The strong bourbon backbone provides a perfect canvas for the fresh fruit and Punt e Mes to marry," he explains.
24 oz. Weller Bourbon (or your favorite bourbon, preferably 90 proof)
12 oz. Punt e Mes (or Carpano Antica)
8 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
8 oz. raw sugar simple syrup
32 strawberries, cored and thinly sliced
2 star anise (optional)
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise (optional)
24 oz. club soda or dry prosecco
For raw sugar simple syrup:
8 oz. raw sugar
8 oz. hot water
For simple syrup:
Combine 8 oz. raw sugar and 8 oz. hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let cool. Note: This recipe makes more syrup than required for one batch of punch.