Traditionally composed of spirit, citrus, spice, sugar and water, punch is one of the earliest known cocktail templates, with written references to punch dating back to at least the 17th century. Today, punch often gets a bad rap as a cheap drink laden with sweet mixers and fake juice, but when done right, it can be a well-balanced, delicious drink.
The Cardamom & Pop Punch recipe comes from Phil Ward, the accomplished bartender who has worked behind the stick at some of New York’s best bars, including Death & Co., Mayahuel and Pegu Club. It covers all the bases, featuring the five tenets of a classic punch, plus orange bitters for an added dash of complexity.
Ward chooses an aged Nicaraguan rum as his spirit. He then enlists fresh lime and grapefruit juices, green cardamom pods, sugar and club soda. The cardamom pods are muddled to release their flavors and aromatics, giving the drink a zesty green note that complements the rum and citrus, while the soda supplies refreshing effervescence.
If you want to make this punch for a crowd, simply scale up the recipe by multiplying the ingredients by the desired number of servings. You can make a large batch and serve it in a punch bowl or carafe at your next party. Considering this versatile punch’s spiced and refreshing flavor profile, it’s equally appropriate for a summer gathering outdoors as it is for a festive holiday gathering around the fire.
- 4 sugar cubes
- 3 ounces club soda, divided
- 3 whole green cardamom pods
- 2 ounces Flor de Caña 7-Year-Old Grand Reserve rum
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 dash Regans Orange Bitters No. 6
- Garnish: 1 lime wheel
In a shaker, dissolve the sugar cubes in 1 ounce of the club soda.
Add the cardamom pods and muddle.
Add the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and bitters, one at a time, while stirring.
Fill with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail or punch glass and top with the remaining 2 ounces of club soda.
Garnish with a lime wheel.