Hibiscus-Pomegranate Punch 16.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Spirits Nov 19, 2019

Bright and festive, this rosy punch carries a bittersweet note that makes it an excellent aperitif to put out for company before a big holiday meal. It works with either gin or vodka.

Note: We used Luxardo Bitter, but you can substitute Campari or another red Italian bitter if you can’t find it. Hibiscus herbal teas are widely available at grocery stores and online. Look for one without many other herbs and spices in the blend, but the versions with berries like strawberries and raspberries are fine.

Make Ahead: If you’re making a block of punch ice, you’ll need to freeze it the night before. A Tupperware container or large cereal bowl can create a large block of ice. If you want to get truly festive, use a Bundt pan, and then gently run it under hot water to dislodge. You can also prep the hibiscus-thyme tea 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerate it until needed.


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: 16 servings

  • For the tea
  • 2 bags hibiscus tea
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • For the punch
  • 3 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups gin (or vodka)
  • 1 cup Luxardo Bitter Bianco liqueur
  • Pomegranate seeds, sprigs of thyme, slices of blood orange or lemon, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) chilled Brut-style sparkling wine


The night before you serve the punch, freeze water for a block of punch ice.

Make the tea: At least 1 hour before you serve the punch, place the tea and thyme in a teapot or fine mesh strainer. Pour the boiling water over the mix and allow it to infuse for about 5 minutes. Strain (you should have about 2 cups) and discard solids, and let the infusion cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the punch: 10 minutes before serving, place the punch ice in the serving bowl. Add the hibiscus tea, pomegranate juice, gin (or vodka) and bitter liqueur. Stir to combine, then add the garnishes (if using). Top with the sparkling wine, stir gently and serve in punch cups or cocktail coupes.

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Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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