On the First Day of Christmas This Punch Came to Me 14.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Spirits Dec 18, 2013

Gina Chersevani's punch takes a little time to make, but it has the colors and flavors of Christmas.

You'll need a punch bowl. Small ice cubes melt fast, so for punches that may be sitting out at a party for a while, a big block of ice is a good option. Talbert's Ice in Bethesda sells ice blocks in several sizes, but you can also make one in the freezer at home: Fill a bowl, an empty ice cream carton or a Tupperware dish with warm water. Freeze it overnight in advance of the party.

For a nonalcoholic punch option, make extra syrup and use it to flavor seltzer.

Make Ahead: You'll have leftover syrup, which can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

14 - 16

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 14-16 servings

  • For the syrup
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • Peel (no pith) of 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, grated ginger root
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • For the punch
  • 2 cups syrup (see above)
  • 2 cups pink grapefruit juice
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) Fords gin (may substitute other London dry gin)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, for garnish
  • 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 large block ice, for serving (see headnote)
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sparkling wine


For the syrup: Combine the sugar, water, cranberries, grapefruit peel, ginger and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove from the heat.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container or 750-milliliter bottle, pressing on the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. Discard the solids. The yield is a scant 4 cups. Cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.

For the punch: Combine 2 cups of the syrup, the grapefruit juice, gin and cranberries in a punch bowl. Add the two types of bitters.

Clap the rosemary between your palms to release its aroma, then add it to the punch bowl. Stir to incorporate, then carefully add the block of ice. Allow the flavors to meld for 15 minutes, then add the sparkling wine just before serving.

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Recipe Source

From Gina Chersevani, of Hank's on the Hill and Buffalo & Bergen in the District.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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