Comeback Kid

David Wondrich brings back classic punch

Punch may be the new homecoming queen of your local bar, but the booze in your bowl probably doesn't resemble the historic elixir that once ruled the spirits world.

Lucky for us, liquor authority David Wondrich has just penned a book on the subject, and he sets the record straight. The punch that draws his praise in Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl is that historic (and simple) combination of distilled spirits, citrus juice, sugar, water and spices.

And we are pleased as punch (ahem) for the clarification: His introductions to traditional recipes for brandy punch and Blackwood's Hot Whiskey Punch will surely carry us–and 20 of our closest friends–through the coming months of cold.

The drinks are made more delicious with Wondrich's scholarly framing. The early chapters are full of historical tales that aim to restore our appreciation of this celebratory drink. Page through them for enriching context before exploring the final chapter, where Wondrich gets to his boozy point with a collection of classic punch recipes.

Break in your punch bowl with a batch of extravagant Light Guard Punch (click here to download the recipe). Before you know it, you'll probably have a party on your hands.