There are a few misconceptions about punch.
MYTH: Punch is a girly drink.
FACT: Punch was introduced to England by sailors returning from India. SAILORS.
MYTH: Punch is bright red and is made with Everclear, Kool-Aid, and pineapple juice.
FACT: Traditional punch is made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, tea, and spices. These days, the ingredients vary, but the formula remains similar.
MYTH: Punch is a summer drink.
FACT: Rules were made to be broken. That's like saying you can't have whiskey or chili in the summer. Eh? Exactly.
So, grab a couple of friends, head to one of these spectacular watering holes, and indulge in some old-fashioned revelry like a 17th century sailor.
Punchbowl Social is new to North Austin with a killer menu and plentiful entertainment, like bowling, ping pong, shuffleboard, darts, billiards, and karaoke. Order a Bachelor's Bowl for your crew and you'll be delivered a concoction made with bourbon, blackberry-elderflower liqueur, mango black tea, lemon juice, and Simple Syrup. Sharing is caring!
Take a seat at Pleasant Storage Room, Downtown's rum-centric, beautiful homage to Golden Age of Havana. In addition to great food, be sure to check out the boozy and complex house-made punch. Try The Commodore (El Dorado 5-Year Demarara rum, VSOP cognac, Lustau East India Solera Sherry, caramelized black tea, fresh lemon juice, and lemon oleo-saccharum).
Elizabeth Street Cafe South First
For a lighter take on classic punch, try Elizabeth Street Cafe's version. The Shady Blonde is particularly refreshing, made with sparkling wine, Lillet blanc, grapefruit, and thyme. This bright, bubbly concoction pairs well with their savory Vietnamese cuisine, and you can order a jar "to-go"!
Eastsiders go nuts for Hillside Farmacy's vintage ambiance, oysters, and their house punch -- this version is a blend of gin, champagne, hibiscus syrup, and grapefruit juice, which gives it a juicy pink color. Available by the bowl -- but glasses are only $3 during happy hour!
Midnight Cowboy is not only the reigning Dirty Sixth champ, they also make a mean house punch, perfect for sipping this winter in their shadowy digs. Try the Chatam Artillery; with a name like this, you should expect some friendly fire. It's a blend of pink wine, rum, gin, brandy, rye whiskey, Bénédictine, cherries, black tea syrup, orange, lemon and Prosecco. Want!
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Punchbowl Social on Domain offers a killer food menu, drink menu, and lots of entertainment including bowling, ping pong, shuffleboard, darts, billiards, and karaoke. Order a Bachelor's Bowl for your group; it's made with bourbon, blackberry elderflower liqueur, mango black tea, lemon juice, and Simple Syrup. Sharing is caring!
Pleasant Storage Room is a throwback to "golden age Cuba and the Caribbean", where you can find yourself dining on island street foods, like their ceviches, while sipping on a sweet rum cocktail.
The brainchild of barbecue and seafood masters Perla and Lambert, Elizabeth Street Cafe serves up Vietnamese dishes with French accents. Try a "Shaking" Steak & Eggs with Niman Ranch ribeye, sauteed spinach, spicy caramel, and toast, or a peach galette with homemade puff pastry and chia ice cream, slathered in ginger peach compote.
The Hillside Farmacy doubles as a sit down farm-to-table restaurant with daily raw bar and specialty grocery. Their seasonal meats, cheese, and greens are locally sourced and can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or afternoon tea (if you're detoxing from the night before).
Once part of Austin's red light district, The Midnight Cowboy pays tribute to its former brothel glory as a reservations-only, buzz-in cocktail lair, where clients are encouraged to flirt with staff as long as they abide by house rules. Reservations are for two hours and there’s a two-drink minimum per guest. With so many expertly crafted cocktails to choose from, you can’t really go wrong -- some of them are even prepared table-side.