Need a bright, simple sipper that will delight any group of friends just about any time of year? So-easy, budget-friendly bourbon lemonade punch to the rescue. Gather round—here’s how it’s done.
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Sometimes you happen upon a crack recipe whose two major players are things you can conveniently buy at the store. That’s one of the charms of this recipe, which mingles good bourbon with store-bought lemonade, amps the combo up with fresh strawberries and mint for that fresh, fruity factor, and is so darn delicious you’ll start making it for every party. Sweet and tart, boozy and bright in equal measure, it’s a delight.

When it comes to the bourbon, don’t break the bank; Bulleit or Maker's would be delicious, but Evan Williams Black would also be just fine. For lemonade, pick a brand you really like, as its flavor is going to dominate, and eschew frozen-tasting cans unless they’re of highest quality. (I like Newman’s Own, which fools most people into thinking I made it myself.)

To amp up its visual effect, make an ice ring showcasing fresh lemon slices. If you don’t have a bundt pan, just use a big, clean yogurt container or Tupperware that you can fit in the freezer. Ice rings are pretty, they’ll keep the whole punch chilled and tasty, and will slowly dilute the drink, which is nice for hot summer parties.

Pro tip: Have backup lemonade and bourbon at the ready, because once your guests get a taste for this stuff, it’s over for any other drinks kicking around the house!

Bourbon Lemonade Punch With Mint and Strawberries

Serves 6-8

  • 10-15 cups store-bought lemonade (such as Newman’s Own), or to taste
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 375 ml good-quality bourbon, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, plus 2 Tbsp for garnish (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced (Optional)

Make Ice Ring: Fill a bundt pan or tube pan with approximately two inches of water, depending on the size of your punch bowl. (Make sure the resulting ring will fit bowl.) Add lemon slices and any additional edible garnishes, such as sliced strawberries or whole mint leaves, to float on top. Freeze for at least 6 hours, covered tightly with plastic wrap. When ready to serve punch, set pan, tin-side-down, in sheet tray of warm tap water until it is easy to invert and remove.

Make punch: Combine lemonade, bourbon, mint, and strawberries a large punch bowl. Stir well to mix. Adjust bourbon and lemonade to taste. Carefully set ice ring, lemons-side-up, in punch. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired. Serve.

Alex Van Buren is a food and travel writer living in Brooklyn, New York whose work has appeared in, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, New York Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Epicurious. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @alexvanburen.