“This Fancy Bourbon Punch is kind of a hard thing to screw up, so feel free to experiment and have fun with it,” says Matt Wallace, mixologist and beverage director at Bar Tribute in Sherman Oaks, CA. He brews loose tea, but four or five tea bags will also work. Green tea will give the most neutral flavor; for more complexity, try pu-erh or Earl Grey. If you don’t have fresh nutmeg to garnish, don’t substitute powdered nutmeg, which can turn your punch into a paste. Instead, use citrus wheels.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Peels of 3 lemons and 1 orange, plus their juices (separated)
- 1 liter brewed strong tea (preferably green tea)
- 1 liter Maker’s Mark or other bourbon
- 250 ml. (about 1 cup) champagne (or club soda)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Combine sugar and citrus peels in the bottom of a punch bowl. Muddle together until sugar starts to clump together. If time allows, let sit for about 2 hours. Steep the tea for about 30 minutes, remove loose tea or tea bags, and allow to cool. Add the juice of the peeled fruit, tea, and bourbon. Stir. Top with champagne just before serving and stir gently. Grate fresh nutmeg over the bowl. Serve with ice on the side, so that guests can help themselves and avoid over-diluting the punch.