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Food & Recipes

Our Test-Kitchen Director Has a Tip That Will Take Any Punch from ‘Ow!’ to ‘Wow!’

Try it out with her sensational summer bourbon punch!

The term punch applies to a wide variety of drinks generally containing fruits or fruit juices and usually incorporating alcohol. Punch quickly became one of the world’s most popular drinks when it was introduced to English employees of the East India company in the late 17th century, and it’s still enjoyed today by both adults and children. The flavor combinations for this iconic drink are endless thanks to fresh fruit, juice and various spirits.

Many punch recipes include bourbon — a barrel-aged American whiskey that was designated “The Official Spirit of America” in 1964 by president Lyndon B. Johnson. Bourbon gets its name from the Kentucky county of Bourbon, making it a popular addition to Kentucky Derby cocktails. The traditionally sweet flavor also makes bourbon the perfect base for summer punches.

We collected creative and classic summer punch recipes, from Ruby Red Bourbon Punch to a tropical Planter’s Punch, created by a foodie, cocktail experts and our own test-kitchen mixologists!

No matter which recipe you try, you’ll want to use this genius trick to keeping your drink cold while ensuring the flavors still pack a punch: “I always freeze water in a Bundt pan to create an ice ring, then I pop the giant ice ring in my punch bowl just before serving,” shares Woman’s World Food Director Julie Miltenberger, who oversees all recipes created in our Test Kitchen. The large ring of ice will take longer to melt than ice regular cubes, so the drink won’t get diluted.

Here, our best summer punch cocktail recipes: 

Ruby Red Bourbon Punch

PItcher of ruby red punch

Whip together a fun and fruity bourbon punch that’s sure to earn raves!


  • 24 oz. ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 16 oz. orange juice
  • 12 oz. bourbon
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. Angostura bitters
  • ½ oz. club soda (chilled)
  • Orange slices
  • Grapefruit slices
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Ice


Combine first five ingredients in a punch bowl; stir. Before serving, add club soda; float fruit slices and cherries in the bowl. Add ring or block of ice. Serves 8.

Traditional Bourbon Punch

Glass of punch with pineapple garnish
NaMong Productions92/Shutterstock

Give bourbon a delightfully fruity upgrade with this punch cocktail. The tart citrus fruit in this drink perfectly balances the sweeter bourbon.


  • 2 ½ cups orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup grenadine
  • 2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups lemon lime soda
  • Cherries
  • Orange slices
  • Lime slices


In a large pitcher, stir together first six ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add lemon-lime soda to the pitcher. If desired, garnish with cherries, orange slices and lime slices. Makes 8 servings.

Pineapple Orange Punch

two glasses of orange punch
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Delight your taste buds with a refreshingly fruity punch, courtesy of Jocelyn Brubaker of With three types of juice, this drink offers a delicious blend of sweet and tart.


  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 Tbs. Key lime juice
  • 2 cups Sprite
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh orange slices
  • Vodka or rum


Combine first three ingredients in a pitcher. Refrigerate for a few hours to chill. Before serving, stir in Sprite and add fresh fruit. Pour into glasses and top with an orange slice. Add a splash of rum or vodka to each glass. 

Pomegranate Punch

Pomegranate punch

Enjoy a tangy small-batch cocktail, which gets an added burst of flavor thanks to orange bitters!


  • Orange bitters
  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • Orange slices


Add 1 to 2 drops of orange bitters to each of two glasses; swirl to coat sides. Add rum, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice and a handful of ice to each glass. Stir ingredients until well combined. If desired, add more orange bitters to each glass to incorporate more tart, citrusy flavor into the punch. Garnish glasses with orange or lime slices. Makes 2 drinks.

Planter’s Punch

Rum punch in glasses
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Enjoy the laid-back vibe of the Caribbean at home with this recipe from rum expert Shannon Mustipher, author of Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails. Her island punch contains the key elements of any tropical cocktail: a mix of sweet, sour and spirits.


  • 2 oz. of Jamaican Rum (like Two James Doctor Bird Jamaican Rum)
  • ¾ oz. grenadine
  • ¼ oz. fresh lime juice
  • Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Pineapple or orange wedge


Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Garnish with cherries and a fruit wedge.

Berry-Apple Margarita Punch

pitcher of berry punch and two glasses

Gather your friends and whip up this crisp cocktail, perfect for cooling off on a hot day!  


  • 1 cup frozen raspberries in syrup
  • 6 cups seltzer
  • 1 (12 oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1 Tbs. sour apple liqueur
  • Fruit for garnish


Thaw raspberries. Strain, reserving syrup. Mix seltzer, frozen limeade concentrate, reserved syrup, tequila and sour apple liqueur in a pitcher. Pour over ice; garnish with desired fruit. Serves 8.

Primavera Punch

two glasses of pink champagne punch
Maria Medvedeva/Shutterstock

Tequila gets a fun, fruity twist with this tasty punch cocktail created by agave spirits expert Jesse Estes, author of Tequila Beyond Sunrise. “It’s got tequila, Champagne and raspberries,” he says. “What’s not to like?”


  • ¾ oz. raspberry syrup (like Monin Raspberry)
  • 1 ⅔ oz. of tequila (like Tequila Ocho Plata)
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Mint sprig
  • Raspberries


Add first three ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, then strain into a glass filled with cubed ice. Fill glass to the top with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a mint sprig and raspberries, if desired.

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