This whiskey punch is the perfect drink for your next holiday party. The mix of sour and black cherry juices gives the punch layers of fruity flavor while the warm spices make it taste like the holidays. Whiskey gives it, well, the punch and champagne adds a festive, much needed spritz.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes, plus 12 hours to freeze ice ring
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
spiced simple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 star anise
1 1/2 cups sour cherry juice (can use pomegranate juice in a pinch)
1 1/2 cups black cherry juice
3 cups whiskey (we prefer rye or bourbon)
1 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup spiced simple syrup (all of recipe above)
1 bottle dry champagne or sparkling wine
lemon slices, for garnish
mint leaves, for garnish
The day before you plan on making the punch, make the ice ring. Spread 1 cup of pomegranate seeds evenly across the surface of a bundt pan or small freezer safe bowl (make sure the diameter is smaller than your punch bowl).
Fill pan with 4- 6 inches of cool water and freeze overnight. To unmold, run hot water over the outside of the pan or bowl until the ice ring falls out of the pan. Use immediately or store on a plate in the freezer.
spiced simple syrup
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves over low heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then cook over low heat for 10 minutes to infuse flavors. Don’t boil.
Remove from heat and let cool. For a mild syrup, strain off spices. Otherwise keep them in the syrup.
Store spiced syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
In a 4 quart punch bowl, combine sour cherry juice, black cherry juice, whiskey, lemon juice and spiced simple syrup. Stir to combine. Taste, adjust with more cherry juice or whiskey if needed for your perfect strength. Add champagne and ice ring then garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Punch will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge (though the champagne will go flat after an hour or so).