Light Guard Punch 24.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; glassware from Crate and Barrel

Spirits Jul 6, 2011

This is the perfect easy hot-weather punch. The original recipe comes from Jerry Thomas's seminal 1862 "Bartenders Guide." Besides Sauternes, sweet wines such as Tokaji, from Hungary, also work very well. For the sparkling wine, champagne works best, but you could also use a dry, crisp, not-too-sweet cava or cremant.

For a more pineapple-y twist, Spirits columnist Jason Wilson suggests gently muddling the pineapple before adding the cognac and wines.

Make Ahead: The base mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Servings: 24 - 36
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 750 mls fino or pale or manzanilla sherry
  • 750 mls cognac or armagnac, preferably VSOP
  • 750 mls Sauternes-like dessert wine
  • Ice
  • Three 750-ml bottles sparkling wine
  • 4 lemons, cut into thin slices, for garnish


Have a large punch bowl with small glasses at hand.

Combine the pineapple, sherry, cognac and sweet wine in a large mixing bowl or pitcher. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, fill about one-third of the punch bowl with ice, then pour the mixture over the ice. Add the sparkling wine. Stir gently; garnish with lemon slices.

VARIATION: Instead of pouring the sparkling wine into the punch bowl, pour a ladleful of the mixture from the punch bowl into each glass (about 2 ounces), then top each with sparkling wine.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Punch Bowl," by Dan Searing (Sterling Epicure, 2011).

Tested by Jason Wilson and Michael Taylor.

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