“You may talk of brisk Claret, sing Praises of Sherry, Speak well of old Hock, Mum, Cider and Perry; But you must drink Punch if you mean to be Merry.” - Songs of the Vine with a Medley for Maltworms
Drinking songs like the above have long been sung gathered around the flowing bowl to celebrate and eventually succumb to the heady charms of punch. These songs are a foreshadowing of what’s to come for those unaware of its gracious deceptiveness. For others, the songs are jovial reminders of the wallop the mixtures deliver if one doesn’t sip them slowly. Always the centerpiece of a good party, the joyous nature of punch cannot be denied nor can its usefulness in serving a crowd. Trip Sandifer, beverage director at The Painted Pin , says, “Punch is celebratory, and celebrations are best suited to excess.”
We agree, sir.
If you’re looking to sing a few songs around ye olde flowing bowl this holiday season, then gather your friends and head to one of these Atlanta bars serving up cups of good cheer.
Gin and bourbon punches at The Painted Pin
The Painted Pin in Buckhead is what happens when a bowling alley meets a slick cocktail lounge serving up a healthy list of classics like the 20th Century, Martinez and Last Word. An expert at handily hosting crowds of thirsty bowlers, Sandifer offers his discerning cocktail guests one more option--punch. Two to be exact. These perennials bowls of booze are perfect sipping options for celebratory friend gatherings. Channel the roaring twenties' glam with a gin punch made with grapefruit, lemon and sparkly cava garnished with mint sprigs, grapefruit and lemon wheels or sip a Southern colonial-inspired concoction with bourbon, Rainwater Madeira, orange and lemon. Bowls are $36 or $9 per glass.
The Painted Pin, 737 Miami Circle NE, Atlanta. 404-814-8736, thepaintedpin.com.
Prosecco and vodka punches at Lure
Planning to stroll through the holiday lights at the Botanical Gardens with the gang? Maybe you’re all headed to The Alliance for “A Christmas Carol” or The Fox to catch a performance of “The Nutcracker”. Whatever your plans are in Midtown, meet up at Lure on Crescent Avenue for shareable seafood delights and fish house-inspired punch bowls. Lure offers two options for groups looking to imbibe communally. The Shaolin is a refreshing vodka-based punch with lychee liqueur (southeast Asia berry), fresh grapefruit, lemon and lime. For something a bit sweeter, order the Peach Zinger with prosecco, peach schnapps, peach puree and orange juice. Small bowl serves up to four people for $30. Large bowl serves up to eight people for $60.
1106 Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta. 404-817-3650, lure-atlanta.com.
Punch three ways at Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
The weather has turned colder, and the crowds of friends gathered on the Ladybird Grove off the Beltline have come indoors to the Mess Hall to share warm fry bread drizzled in honey and spatchcock chicken. Pair your family-style meal with communal booze. Choose from one of three seasonal punches: a gin-based punch with blackberry, lime and bitters, a tequila-based punch with in-season blood oranges and fresh citrus or a traditional holiday punch with rum, orange cordial and fresh citrus fruits and pineapple. Small punch bowl serves up to eight people for $55. Large punch bowl serves up to 16 people for $100.
684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-458-6838, ladybirdatlanta.com.
AP (all-purpose) punch at Ticonderoga Club
You’ll catch us this holiday season gathered with a few of our finest friends at Ticonderoga Club . We’re going to go ahead and suggest you do the same and order up the large and totally in charge Chuckwagon, smashed potatoes and wok vegetables. Wash it all down with punch. Owner and bartender Paul Calvert suggests the AP (all-purpose), “This is a punch we like to have the ingredients for on hand at the Club. The base is classically-informed but versatile and all-purpose--as the name suggests.” Created with a housemade black tea and citrus cordial, the old AP comes in three boozy varieties: Cognac and aged rum, Cognac and whiskey or Cognac and Champagne . Pricing upon request and based on the number of imbibers.
Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St. NE W, Atlanta. 404-458-4534, ticonderogaclub.com.
Tiki punch at S.O.S. Tiki Bar
If you and yours are serious about drinking punch, head straight to Decatur’s S.O.S Tiki Bar for tropical vibes and lots of Navy-proof rum . Bowlfuls of create-your-own concoctions can be whipped up upon request with whatever ingredients you choose-- and possibly lit on fire, too. We won’t judge if you equip your bowl of booze with bendy straws, mermaids and tiny umbrellas. Take heed, friends, punch at S.O.S. is not for the faint of heart and is best paired with food. While they recommend their punches be made with good rum, the capable bartenders will create your mixture using whatever spirit you desire. Bowl serves up to eight people for $100.
340 Church St., Decatur. 404-377-9308, vicsandwich.com/sos .