Forget pumpkin spice—fall is punch season. These giant cocktails are boozy, decadently warming, perfectly spiced, and essential for holiday get-togethers. From Colonial era concoctions loaded with rum and Cognac, to an effervescent, malt-heavy beer-based libation, here are seven of the best punches to serve this season.
The 7 Best Punches to Drink This Fall
Rich, appley and effervescent, this three-ingredient punch is as easy to make as it is to drink. Simply mix honey syrup (the rawer the honey, the better) with Calvados (a decadent French apple brandy) and top with crisp, sparkling apple cider. Garnish with a flamed cinnamon stick, and it’s time to imbibe.
Sparkling Apple Cider
Spicy rye whiskey is the perfect companion to usher in the colder months. This large format cocktail, inspired by punches served in taverns during the Revolutionary war, mixes the peppery whiskey with bitter amaro, Cognac, black tea and lemons. Decadent and deceptively boozy, it will turn your cheeks red. It’s so warming, in fact, you might even have to take off your sweater.
Black Tea, Iced
Based on a recipe from Jerry Thomas’s Bartenders Guide, this frothy punch is the perfect fall cocktail for beer lovers. A heady, boozy spritz, the Strong Ale Punch is made with malty Yuengling lager, crisp white wine and Cognac. It’s extremely food-friendly, which makes it ideal to serve alongside salty snacks at your next football party.
Cognac or Brandy
It’s a known fact that our first president was a really boozy guy (just try his Eggnog). After making (and drinking) this early American punch, you’ll see that his wife shared the same love. Recreated by cocktail master Dale DeGroff, this recipe for Martha Washington’s Punch is ripe for rediscovery. Piquant, rich and loaded with rum, it’s the perfect autumn punch to help loosen your scarf.
This is the type of punch to drink at the end of October when the chilly air really begins to set in. One of the oldest cocktail traditions, Wassail was brought to America with the arrival of the first Protestants. Dark, boozy and richly spiced, this hot cocktail has the power to warm you to your bones.
Another Colonial era libation, Fish House Punch comes from one of the oldest gentlemen's clubs, circa 1732. Dangerously boozy, it’s made with a full bottle of rum, peach brandy, and Cognac. You won’t need a fire in your fireplace with this punch in your glass.
This fall-inspired Sangria is the perfect prescription for waning summer days. Made with a crisp-tart Moscato and Laird’s applejack, it harnesses the flavors of autumn while retaining the lightness of summer’s best cocktails. When you need an easy-to-make, pitcher-sized cocktail for a dinner party, look no further.
Apples and Pears