Photo by Chris Casella

Punch (with a Kick)

Lets face it: your family functions are a lot more fun if everyone knocks back a few cups of the high-test stuff.

A little alcohol makes your aunt/uncle’s mildly you-name-it-phobic comments to your girlfriend/boyfriend a little less awkward (but not really). I’m going to help you make a delivery system for this water of life that everyone will love.

The great thing about this recipe: it’s as easy as beating Don Flamenco in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.


Photo by Chris Casella

Step 1 is completed the day before. Slice a bunch of citrus fruit, and place at the bottom of a bunt cake pan. Fill the pan with crushed ice, followed by water. Place the whole thing in the freezer and let it solidify. If you don’t wanna get that fancy, just fill any large bowl with water and freeze that mother.

Step 2 is also completed the day before. Any good punch requires something called “oleo-saccharum,” a mixture that loosely translates as “sugared oil,” which adds flavor and aroma to your recipe. It has the consistency of the paste I…errr, I mean you…ate in kindergarten, but much tastier. Peel 12 lemons with a vegetable peeler and place in a bowl along with one pound of the granulated white stuff. Mash this all together with the back of a spoon, cover, and let sit on the counter overnight.

Step 3 Walk into Wieland’s liquor store and hand them this list and say, “I would like all of this:”

16 oz. Cruzan Aged Rum

8 oz. Smith and Cross rum

12 oz. Remy Martin VSOP

3 oz. Crème de Peche

9 oz. Laird’s Applejack

16 oz. lemon juice, finely strained

6 pints cold water

Step 4 Mix the lemony paste (oleo-saccharum) with the aforementioned booze in a large pitcher or mixing bowl. Stir until all sugar is dissolved, and place in the fridge.

Step 5 Place the large ice block from the bunt cake pan in a punch bowl. Pour punch over your fancy or not-so-fancy ice. Garnish punch with pomegranate seeds and drink up.

If you think that I am a snarky bastard and you would never make anything I come up with, well you are in luck: all recipes and techniques have been adapted from the king of snarky bartenders, Jeffery Morganthaler of Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. Enjoy your punch, and after a few glasses tell your aunt/uncle to kick rocks.

Veteran Columbus bartender Grant Bain has been fine-tuning the science of spirits for years. Now, he can teach you, through his on-site, private cocktail business, Speakeasy Kitchen, which is for hire at