This December, when the lighting’s just right and the decorations are perfectly in place, it’ll be time to swirl together, serve, and savor the most foundational and festive of drinking traditions: punch!
Aside from its convenience, creativity is what makes this format of drinking shine, as long as balance is kept in mind. You can call it the “rule of five,” according to the original template of alcohol, sugar, citrus, water, and spices, which dates back to the Royal British Navy’s innovations out of necessity in the 1600s. It’s as helpful a hint for the bowl—or barrel, as it was back then—as it generally is for a single glass when it comes to cocktail crafting, but the exciting possibilities needn’t stop there. If you can dream it, chances are you can punch it.
We’re pleased to reveal this month’s grand plans for the punch bowl, Jolly for Gin Punch, which thrives with that five in mind: three punch variations featuring a base of gin and dry sparkling wine, sensational syrups, striking sours, and surprising seasonings, all iced up and ready to serve 4–6 guests each. But of course then there’s the X factor that takes these concoctions to a much more than pentamerous place: fun, complex flavors and wide-ranging holiday inspirations that can come only from our three very merry and magnificent bartenders.
Sign up today and punch your ticket to this upcoming trio of gleeful soirees. Because, when the holiday schedule is heating up, there’s no better place to be than local to the ladle! Subscribe now through November 30th (while supplies last!) to get the Jolly for Gin Punch Box—it’s slated to ship the week of December 6th.
A riveting Rorschach test awaits with Robert Sickler’s Winter Sun. Does this bright punch sing sensationally of springtime? Or is it more at home having a ball by the holiday hearth? Well, why not both?! That’s what happens when season-spanning ingredients like hibiscus-pomegranate soda, lemon-lavender syrup, and blood orange–ginger bitters come to play along with botanical and bubbly best buds gin and dry sparkling wine.
Robert is the owner and operator of Bayou Bodega Natural Wine Bar in Tampa, Florida. He also hosts the spirits podcast Raising a Glass and is a licensed instructor for the Whisky Ambassador Programme based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Since his recent memorable excursion to Capri, Greg Mayer is still not quite done with the bitter and bright citrus bite of its countless liqueurs and aperitifs. Hence, an orange spritz syrup, which imparts a little of Italy onto this beautifully oversize version of a classic, The Grand Gimlet. But it’s not the only ingredient chosen to jazz up gin and fresh lime as soft, wintery apricot and rosemary and dry sparkling wine swing in for a brisk and bouncy buona sera!
Greg began his career in the hospitality industry working in kitchens as a line cook and transitioned to roles behind the bars of many hot spots nationwide. He’s now based in NYC but travels frequently, spreading his love of whisk(e)y around the country.
There’s no place like home this holiday season, something Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana is keenly aware of, and he loves reflecting on the memories of his Japanese and Bay Area upbringing through the art of cocktails. His Ringo Bender Punch combines gin and dry sparkling wine with the nostalgic, seasonal flavors of apples (ringo in Japanese, and delivered to you in the forms of a cordial and cider vinegar) and honey before an embrace from a poignant part of his own past, Japanese curry.
This particular blend of spices is a softer, more understated version, relative to elsewhere in the world, yet it is packed with an umami richness that warms up the apples and brings out complexity in their sweetness. Just like the feeling of walking through the front door and being greeted by your nearest and dearest, this punch is sure to call you home this December!
Growing up, Suzu split his time between the San Francisco Bay area and Japan, where he learned about hospitality at his grandparents’ cocktail bar, restaurant, and farm. The cocktails that got him named national finalist for Bacardi Legacy and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender were inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo. He is now general manager of Wildhawk and the founder of the Kagano Pop-Up, a heavily Japanese-influenced cocktail experience.
Let’s close out 2021 in style: with a bunch of punchy fun, of course! Don’t miss the Jolly for Gin Punch Box as it comes to town to spread brilliant bowls of liveliness and cheer all throughout this holiday season.
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: honey
*potential allergens: Pineapple rings originally packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and milk products.