Fancy Bourbon Punch

This fruity and bubbly punch is perfect for large group gatherings, particularly in the summertime.

History of Fancy Bourbon Punch

Punches have been around for eons – the first is said to have been created in India. The word "punch" derives from pañca, meaning "five," or the five key ingredients it's made from, namely: alcohol, sugar, fruit juice, water or tea and spices. Punches made their way to the United Kingdom via sailors employed by the British East India Trading Company. 

The earliest known written mention of English punch was recorded way back in 1632. It was originally made with brandy. This recipe – Fancy Bourbon Punch – is a relative of Southern Bourbon Punch, which is made with sweet tea, bourbon and citrus.


1 liter Maker's Mark® Bourbon

1 cup granulated sugar

Peels of 3 lemons and 1 orange

Juice of the peeled lemons and orange

1 liter of strong, unsweetened tea (preferably green tea)

250 ml. champagne (club soda can be used for a less fancy version)

Freshly grated nutmeg. If you don't have fresh nutmeg, don't use the powdered stuff.

How to

  1. Muddle sugar and citrus peels in the bottom of a large punch bowl.
  2. Let sit for about 2 hours (Optional, but will add flavor.)
  3. Stir in the juice of the peeled fruit, tea and Maker's Mark Bourbon leaving the citrus peels in the bowl.
  4. Top the punch bowl with champagne just before serving. Stir gently.
  5. Ladle into serving glasses over ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Pro Tips

Fill a deep, metal baking pan with water and freeze for super-sized ice. Large ice is cool to look at and melts slower, allowing the flavors in your punch to stand up longer.

Bottled juices will work in a pinch, but nothing beats fresh squeezed. The citrus is such an important component here that the extra effort will pay off.

Firmly rolling citrus under your hand before you cut it loosens up the pulp, making the fruit easier to juice.

Add the bubbly at the last second to keep your punch spritzy. If the punch is going to sit for a while, consider using the champagne as a topper instead.

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