kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Always a great time for punch

While taking one of the seminars at BarSmarts the other day (complete post of my fantastic experience to follow soon...) renowned spirits author and historian David Wondrich demonstrated a recipe for Irish Whiskey punch (and the lucky students in the class, yours truly included, got to sample it.) He talked a bit about the original intention of punch--as a way for bar patrons to socialize. Punch is thought to derive from the Hindi word for five, "paunch," a reference to its five ingredients: spirit, citrus, sugar, water and spice. This particular punch recipe, like many classic versions, is not particulary potent. That's by design, as guests long ago were known to take small cups of punch, and keep returning to the bowl often to refill, chat, debate. Consider mixing up a bowl this fall--maybe as an aperitif on Thanksgiving. Though it contains an entire bottle of Jamison's, it also has enough other ingredients to keep it relatively tame, so quaffable and very, very thirst-quenching.

David Wondrich's Irish Whiskey Punch 12 servings

6 oz. lemon juice 6 oz. sugar Peels from 3 lemons 12 oz. water 1 750 mL bottle Irish Whiskey 750 mL water Ice Garnish: nutmeg, allspice, lemon or orange slices, etc.

Place sugar and lemon peels in a bowl, muddle well, and let mixture set for 1 hour. Add mixture to lemon juice, stir to dissolve sugar, strain out lemon peels, and pour liquid into large punch bowl. Add Irish Whiskey and water and stir. Add ice cubes, or ice formed in a Jello mold. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, and/or orange or lemon slices.