This refreshing punch will make your next cocktail party or happy hour the talk of the town. Spicy ginger and bourbon (our Test Kitchen recommends using Bulleit Bourbon) give this big-batch cocktail a bite that’s balanced out by fresh orange and lemon juices and sparkling mineral water (such as Topo Chico). The homemade ginger syrup is easy to prepare and can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. There is no need to peel the ginger root because it will eventually be strained out of the cooked syrup, however, you should scrub the ginger clean if the skin is dirty. Be sure to squeeze fresh citrus instead of using the bottled stuff; it doesn’t take long and makes all of the difference in this recipe. Big-batch drinks like this one are ideal for entertaining because you can prepare them ahead of the party, and scale them up if needed. If you want to make Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Punch in advance, simply combine all of the ingredients except the sparkling water and orange slices in a large pitcher one day in advance. Store the punch in the refrigerator. When it is party time, add the orange slices and stir the punch (in the pitcher or transfer to a punch bowl) to combine all of the ingredients. Serve in glasses over ice. Cheers!

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Credit: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe Summary

2 hrs 20 mins
20 mins
Serves 10


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine ginger, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely, about 2 hours. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small glass measuring cup, discarding solids.

  • Combine fresh orange juice, bourbon, sparkling water, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and orange slices in a large punch bowl or pitcher. Stir to combine. Serve over ice.