Beyond Wine -Traditional Punch Recipes, Irish Coffee, Old Fashioned, Martini, Moscow Mule – and foods that pair well…

Drink- Punch: 

Punch.  With a punch.  Traditional punches have evolved on many branches over the years, but the punch we’re talking about is the original – or a couple varieties of the original – that will make dinner parties “over 21 only” events.

“Punch” is a word that is borrowed from Sanskrit word “panc” which means five.  What significance does 5 have to punch??  Well, the original version of punch had 5 ingredients:  Tea, Sugar, Lemon (or lime), water and alcohol.

The earliest punches made their way back with sailors from the East India Trading Company when they sailed west.  They concocted the drinks with one of the staple beverages of the islands to which they traveled – rum.  They brought the drink back to England and it was an instant success.  There are numerous punch recipes online, but we’ll just list one to get you started.  Punch is a great summertime drink and would be a perfect fit for a neighborhood BBQ with burgers.

Ingredients :

  • 750ml Bottle of inexpensive rye whiskey
  • 750ml water
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 3 bags green tea
  • 375ml rum
  • 375ml Cognac
  • 4 whole lemons
  • 2 small oranges, sliced thin
  • 4 small lemons, sliced thin
  • 2 750ml bottles of Champagne
  • 1 liter sparkling water
  • 1 Ice Block (tip – freeze a large water balloon.  Wash all powder from balloon prior to filling and set it in a bowl to help it keep it’s round shape) fresh ground nutmeg


Pour rye whiskey into a 4 quart container – (this will go in refrigerator the night before the punch is served)  Fill the rye whiskey bottle with water and add to a large stainless pot, boil the water and add raw sugar, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves and water temp drops to 190F.  Add the 3 tea bags and steep for 3 minutes.  Add the tea, rum and Cognac to the rye in the 4 quart container.  Peel the lemons and add the peel to the mixture and refrigerate.  Save the lemons in a small Ziploc bag or cling wrap.

Prior to serving – Juice the lemons and add juice to the base.  Then add oranges, limes, Champagne, sparkling water and the large ice ball – remove balloon and wash in clean water prior to placing in punch.

Drink- Irish Coffee:

Ingredients :

  • Black Coffee ( your choice)
  • 1 table spoon of brown sugar
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Whipped AA whole cream ( optional)

Irish Coffee is a great post meal drink to relax the mood and warm the room.  Traditional Irish Coffee is a snap to make.  Make a cup of your favorite black coffee, add a tablespoon of brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Next, add a shot of Irish whiskey and top with as much lightly whipped AA whole cream as you desire.  Serve hot.

Drink- The Old Fashioned:

Ingredients :

  • Sugar cubes
  • Angostura Bitters
  • teaspoon of water
  • 2 large ice cubes
  • Rye or Burbon Whiskey of choice
  • Orange slices & maraschino cherry for garnish

The “Old Fashioned” is one of the most timeless drinks out there and is a  lot of fun to make and goes great with a ribeye.  Start with a sugar cube and saturate with angostura bitters, add a dash of water and muddle until thoroughly dissolved.  Add a large ice cube or two, and fill with Rye or Bourbon Whiskey of your choice.  Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.

Drink- Martini:

Ingredients :

  • 1 – 007 – kidding
  • Vermouth
  •  4 oz.  -Gin
  • Ice
  • Olives
  • toothpick

One of the most iconic drinks at the bar is the Martini… but why?  Well, that’s due in large part to the worlds favorite spy, James Bond.  It just so happens that Martinis go great with both burgers and steaks.  Two types of Martinis have become accepted over the years, but we’ll focus on the original – the gin Martini.  There are two ingredients in a Martini – vermouth and gin.  Start with a cocktail shaker full of ice cubes, add gin – Beefeaters or Bombay Sapphire – while the gin is chilling, coat the inside of a  Martini glass with vermouth and discard the excess.  Strain the gin into the glass and garnish with 2 green olives on a toothpick.

Drink- Moscow Mule


  • Ginger Beer
  • Vodka
  • Lime Juice ( lime wedge)
  • Highball / copper mug
  • Ice

Moscow Mule has picked up a lot of popularity in recent times – for good reason.  It’s a damn good drink.  It goes particularly well with burgers and shouldn’t be overlooked if Tri-Tip is on the menu.  The Moscow Mule consists of Ginger Beer, Vodka and a large wedge worth of lime juice.  Simply combine a shot of vodka with ginger beer in a highball glass or copper mug full of ice, squeeze in lime juice, garnish with lime wedge and serve.  This is a refreshing drink that won’t let you down and pairs well with many dishes. Article by Steve Johnson