Party Like It's 1929 with These Super-Boozy Punch Bowls

Forget everything you thought you knew about punch bowls, and check out these deliciously updated versions.

Now that modern-day mixologists have mastered the art of the cocktail—balancing the highest-quality spirits with hand-crafted bitters and homemade infused syrups—they’re turning their attention to a relic from the Jazz Age: the punch bowl. These versions will banish all images of frat-party Scorpion Bowls from your mind. Featuring artisanal ingredients and unexpected combinations, they're served in elegant glassware or crystal, and there isn't a straw in sight!

Hearth, New York City

At Hearth, chef Marco Canora’s seasonal Italian-inspired restaurant, the punch is called Little Madness, so beware. It’s made with Laird’s Applejack Brandy, Old New Orleans Spiced Rum, Lustau PX Sherry, fresh ginger juice and lime, and it's served in a bowl for a table of 4-8. You can also get it in a ceramic pitcher with punch glasses for 1-3, or per person. But hey, if you're planning to go a little mad, it's best not to do it alone.

The Drink, Brooklyn

At The Drink, a nautical-inspired neighborhood bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nearly the entire cocktail menu revolves around punch, served in crystal cut-glass bowls with assorted vintage glassware. With eight to ten punch bowls in rotation at all times, there’s one for nearly every spirit, from tequila and mezcal to rye and rum, although a favorite is the Old Gunwale—made with Bernheim bourbon, grapefruit, chamomile tea and spiced cranberry bitters ($48, serves 10).

Faith and Flower, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles restaurant Faith and Flower pays homage to the 1920s in a space that evokes the glamour of the Jazz Age. Carrying out that theme is the gorgeous English Milk Punch—a mix of rums like Smith & Cross, Denizen Aged White rum, Bacardi 8, Batavia Attack and Lost Spirits, plus Bulleit Bourbon, Pernod Absinthe, Sencha green tea, cinnamon, clove, coriander and clarified milk. The intense brew is designed to serve groups of 4-6, and it's presented in a lovely crystal punch decanter ($125).

Elizabeth Street Café, Austin

At Elizabeth Street Café, Austin’s all-day destination for vibrant French-Vietnamese food, three different boozy punch bowls are on the menu (and also available by the glass). Choose from the Red Dragon ($8/$28), which combines beet-infused sake, orange sherry, Falernum, jalapeños, ginger brew, lime and Thai basil; The Velvet Age ($10/$36), a blend of Falernum syrup, Bonal, Cocchi Vermouth, Luxardo cherries, star anise and Black Walnut Bitters; or the lighter Shady Blonde ($8/$28), made from sparkling wine, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit and thyme.

Streetbird, New York City

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s latest Harlem restaurant is Streetbird, a tribute to the hip-hop and graffiti culture of the late ’70s to early '90s. The menu is inspired by block parties and cookouts, as well as the surrounding neighborhood's range of cultural influences and Samuelsson's own Ethiopian and Swedish background. To match the dynamic menu, Samuelsson is serving two punch bowls: The Sloe Motion ($50), made with Bacardi Maestro, Sloe Gin, ginger beer, lemon and mint; and Tequila Me Softly ($45), made with Cazadores tequila, grapefruit and lime juices, and a berbere-cayenne pepper blend.

Yunnan BBQ, New York City

At Yunnan BBQ, a festive restaurant serving the cuisine of China's Yunnan province, two punch bowls are on the menu to help wash down the fiery food. There’s the Guava Guava (by barman Jose Ortiz), which combines Espolon silver, Cointreau, lemon juice, lime juice, guava puree and Siracha; and the Calamansi Cooler (by barman Jason Pete), a mix of Tito's vodka, calamansi, St. Germain, lemon, Prosecco and tapioca bubbles. Each serves 2-4 people ($40).

Corner Office, Denver

The punch bowl at The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar in Denver is a potent mix of rum, brandy, bitters, chai tea and pineapple and lime juices. The drink is all about the name—it's poetically titled Remember Autumn—but you'll want to ask for it all year long.

 

 

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