Get Punchy

Edison's "bottle service" is a throwback to simpler times

Punch may conjure up thoughts of fruit juice and soda–or worse, Kool-Aid–concoctions, but the drink is making an official comeback at the Edison, which now serves punch bowls in lieu of bottle service. There's even tiny decorative glasses if you're feeling dainty.

Popular since the 19th century, classic punch generally consists of five ingredients: hard liquor, citrus juice, sugar, water and spices. Using ingredients like gin, Champagne, pomegranate syrup, brandy and juice, Edison's versions aren't cloying; just refreshing and delicious, fitting for the clientele and lounge's throwback vibe. You can get a single serving ($12), but the bowl ($60), which serves four to six people, is way more fun–even more so on Wednesdays when it's only $25 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Part of the appeal is the bowls themselves: Bar manager Aidan Demarest shopped at yard sales and thrift shops all over town. "We have this haphazard-looking collection; some are pretty and others are obviously ugly wedding gifts," he says. Don't be alarmed when other customers take note–seems everyone wants to hang around the punch bowl.

Whiskey Barrel Punch
Recipe from Marcos Tello
Makes 10 to 12 servings

Peel of 3 lemons, cut into thin strips

3 tablespoons super-fine sugar

8 ounces fresh lemon juice

7 ounces pomegranate syrup

4 dashes of Angostura bitters

16 ounces bourbon

16 ounces Champagne

Ice

In a large pitcher or bowl, muddle the lemon peels and sugar. Add the lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, bitters and bourbon and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add ice cubes and stir until chilled. Strain over large block of ice set in a punch bowl and top with the Champagne. Note: Use a metal bowl or plastic container to mold the large ice block.

Edison, 108 W. 2nd St., Downtown; 213-291-3247 or edisondowntown.com