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12.19.10 by  

Cougar Punches (They Still Got It)

Some things are just more delicious with age. These veteran cocktails may have been around the block, but they still turn taste buds.

Make these three classics for your next cougar crawl or holiday party to add a little life to the event. If you’re lucky, you’ll get schooled in the process.

1. An unexpected addition of Holland gin. MxMo’s addition to this classic makes the end result smoother and less sweet while preserving that touch of sour on the back end — insert your own cougar analogy here.

Gin Punch

Created by Dave Wondrich and published in Imbibe!

  • 1 tablespoon raspberry syrup
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 3 ounces Holland gin
  • Juice 1/2 small lemon
  • 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
  • 2 slices orange
  • 1 piece pineapple
  1. Fill the tumbler with shaved ice.
  2. Shake well, and ornament the top with berries in season.
  3. Sip through a glass tube or straw.

Warning: prepping these for guests is the party equivalent of leaving a bowl of warm milk out for a stray cat. Photo: Science of Drink

2. 200 years old and still kicking. Major James Foster Punch never looked better, after being adapted from a classic Rocky Mountain recipe from Jerry Thomas. We like the addition of Luxardo or brandied cherries as a garnish for the glass.

Major James Foster Punch

Dan Stern, Urban Farmer at large, created this cocktail from the original Rocky Mountain Punch recipe in Jerry Thomas’ 200-year-old classic, “The Bartender’s Guide.”

  1. Makes 20 6-ounce servings
  • 2 750-ml bottles Puerto Rican silver rum
  • 5 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 3/4 cup Luxardo Maraschino
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 375 milliliters dry sparkling wine (half a regular-size bottle)
  • Frozen pineapple slices, for garnish
  1. Combine the rum, pineapple juice, simple syrup, Maraschino and lemon juice in a large bowl or pitcher. Chill for a few hours.
  2. Prepare a punch bowl by nesting it in ice. Add the punch and pour in the sparkling wine, along with the pineapple, if using. Set the punch bowl in the bed of ice. Serve in highball glasses over ice.

3. Goes down with a bang. As if you need another reason to hide the firearms during a party, sip on River House Restaurant‘s version of a heritage punch. This recipe dates back to the mid-1700s, but you can make her feel modern again with fresh juices, boutique spirits and interesting spins on tea.

Chatham County Artillery Punch

The River House in Savannah, Georgia, recommends making their recipe one to two days in advance. Garnish liberally with fruit.

  • 1 1/2 gallons catawba wine
  • 1/2 gallon rum
  • 1 quart gin
  • 1 quart brandy
  • 1 1/2 quarts rye whiskey
  • 1 1/2 gallons strong tea (you can sub in green for black)
  • 2 1/2 pounds brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 quarts orange juice
  • 1 1/2 quarts lemon juice
  • Case champagne
  • Cherries to garnish
  1. Mix from 36 to 48 hours before serving. Add champagne before serving.