There's a horribly misguided notion among people who know little about booze that punch isn't cool, that it's something that dateless losers drink at proms or that pearl-wearing old gold diggers make for their garden parties.
But we're here to tell you that that's 100-percent wrong. Punch is cool.
For starters, this isn't the diluted Kool-Aid mixed with frozen "fruit punch" concentrate that they were serving in your high school gym. This punch is—obviously—spiked, and not just by your flask of raspberry-flavored vodka.
Now, punch can be like a vat of Long Island iced tea, in which most anything goes. Not getting sloshed fast enough? Add half a bottle of whatever's on your fridge. Feeling zesty? Throw some fucking cinnamon sticks in there. Or six lemons. Whatever.
But when it comes to legitimately delicious punch, we play it a little bit safer and get some quality bartenders to throw us their favorite renditions of high-end jungle juice.
First, we've got Daniel Webster's punch from New York City's Porchlight. It's dark and delicious, but perhaps not for the faint of tolerance. Because behind the sugar, lemon, and black tea, there's whole bottles of Jamaican rum, cognac, and sherry. Oh yeah, and then two bottles of red wine on top of that.
Put it in a big crystal bowl. It looks so pretty. No one will be the wiser that they will soon be the most sophisticated version of their drunken alter ego.
Maybe you're not a rum person—after all, it has been known to turn people into pirates. And then next thing you know you'll have a long itchy beard, and a sweaty peg leg, and that's not very fun in the summer.
So instead, you might opt to make like Snoop Dogg and go with gin and juice.
But Snoop Dogg was not drinking this potion of dry gin, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, and mixology nerd favorite oleo saccharum from his cup. Instead, this recipe comes courtesy of Robin Chopra at Southern California's Corazón y Miel.
And considering that the juice-to-booze ratio on this is about 2:1, you probably shouldn't be rolling down the street with it. Or near any heavy machinery, for that matter. Or pets or weapons or enemies.
Have a happy New Year's Eve, and try to contain your punches to the punch bowl.