Weeknight Cooking

Crimson Bulleit Punch

December 27, 2010

Crimson Bulleit Punch

- Jenny

Back in sunny southern California, I no longer have a stove, but thanks to my good friend Joshua, I have access to a full bar. As a public service to those of you have not yet chosen a holiday cocktail, we put ourselves through some punch paces with Crimson Bulleit Punch.

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First, Joshua ran out to buy the needed ginger liqueur, which to some might be a bit of a hardship -– will I use this bottle again? -– but which he seemed to view as educational material.

We first made this punch exactly as written, shaking it all together in a cocktail mixer. It was a fine thing, heavy on the bourbon straight from the nose to the finish, boozy and big, the sort of drink that has caused generations of children to inquire: “Hey, mommy why were those grown ups all throwing keys in a big bowl last night?”

We saw room for improvisation. The drink could be more fruity, which we assumed was the goal of listing juice, and bourbon is fine but only if you love bourbon. We considered brandy -- often a crucial ingredient for punch -- and Benedictine, elder flower or Luxardo to replace the Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. All of these items were laid upon a soapstone counter, ready for the mixing.

First we made the recipe with simply half the bourbon and a bit more ginger, making it too much the latter. We added more Champagne. This did nothing much for the drink –- it was basically a lesser-than kir -- but did make it increasingly difficult to take notes.

Veering wildly off course from the spirit of this recipe, we then moved into new proportions -- 1.25 parts brandy, 2 parts cranberry juice, 2 parts Champagne, ¾ part ginger liqueur and added ¼ part crème de casis, which was meant to bring out the fruitiness of things, and to make it more red. Red seemed very important at this point. Oh and we gave the limes a good squeeze, to cut it all.

We were getting somewhere, and adjusted the proportions once more, and involved the aforementioned Luxardo, the Italian liquor made from the crushed pits of Marasca cherries. We feel guilty, but we like it very much, and shared it with others by stumbling down a small flight of stairs with full glasses.

Our final verdict: the Bulleit punch as written makes for a perfect New Year’s Eve punch, but for an individual cocktail, we preferred the remix. Either way, take it easy, or you may find yourself being scraped off the party’s floor.

Here is our version:

  • 1.25 parts brandy
  • 2 parts cranberry/pom juice
  • .75 part Luxardo maraschina
  • .25 part creme de cassis
  • 4 parts Champagne
  • A good squeeze of lime juice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the brandy, cranberry juice, maraschina, and creme de cassis; shake. Stain into a tumbler. Add Champagne to fill the glass, and squeeze in some lime, to taste.

Here is Oui, Chef's:

Crimson Bulleit Punch

Serves 1-100

  • 2 parts - Bulleit Bourbon
  • 2 parts - Champagne
  • 2 parts - Cranberry Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/2 part - Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquer
  • Lime slices
  • Ice ring for punch bowl quantity, shaken with ice for individual servings

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl, adding the champagne just before party time to better maintain its sparkle. Ladle chilled punch into glasses, garnish with a slice of lime and start singing with Burl.

By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

Jennifer Steinhauer

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adashofbitters December 28, 2010
This may sound surprising, and it's certain to offend purists, but Canton is really good paired with single-malt scotch, especially a smoky bottling like Oban. The cocktail's called the Debonair:


My wife, lastnightsdinner, also used it in a cocktail she created called the Tom & Ginger:


As A&M's notes point out, it's not for everyone, but those who like it are pretty smitten.
adashofbitters December 28, 2010
adashofbitters December 28, 2010
adashofbitters December 28, 2010
Making the links a little more distinct. I always forget that the site's software strips out paragraph breaks.
Greenstuff December 28, 2010
I just discovered Domaine de Canton this fall when I got it to make a "French Indochinese" kir, and I definitely recommend it! I bought the smaller bottle, thinking just like Jenny, that it wouldn't be one I'd use again. A big mistake--I'm going to need another, bigger, bottle very soon.
Jestei December 28, 2010
can you tell us some other things to make with it? because it is a very specific flavor....
mrslarkin December 28, 2010
I agree, the stuff is The Bomb! Smooth. Last night, I put it in my tea w honey and lemon. Straight, it goes down real smooth, too. If you like ginger, you should run out and get a big bottle. Right now. Go! I can see using this in pretty much everything. Cocktails, hot drinks, spiked ginger ale, baked goods, vinaigrette. Or a ginger version of a rum ball maybe, using crushed gingersnaps. Cool article on family history of St. Germain elderflower and Domaine de Canton ginger: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123578523945698543.html
Greenstuff December 28, 2010
Both the Domaine de Canton and the Saint Germain make great kirs--the ginger one with a few drops of orange bitters and the elderflower one with a full slice of orange--when we made that one, we dubbed it the Bicyclette, after the story that the elderflowers are harvested by hand and transported by bicycle. Kind of silly, but the orange slice represented the bicycle wheel.

This week, we're using the Domaine de Canton to flavor some poached pears and some whipped cream, which we're going to serve with David Lebovitz's fresh ginger cake.
hardlikearmour December 29, 2010
@mrslarkin. I read the article, and was then compelled to buy a bottle of each. They are delightful. The ginger is a little sweet and has a nice gingery heat. The elderflower reminds me of cassis, but a bit more floral. Yum! Thanks for the link.
mcs3000 December 27, 2010
Fudgy bourbon balls, hot toddies and now this. One of the best weeks ever on food52.
Jestei December 28, 2010
give mom the car keys, food52ers!
lapadia December 27, 2010
We made the Crimson Bulleit last year, and believe me it is true…you may find yourself being scraped off the party’s floor, while singing with Burl! I was also inspired to use Bulleit Burbon in the Hot Toddy I posted here on Food52 after my introduction to it one year ago!
Jestei December 28, 2010
mrslarkin December 27, 2010
How timely! Santa brought me a bottle of bourbon AND Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur (cool bottle.) So I'll be happily trying both versions soon. And love your tidbit of booze history, Jenny...apparently, the Key Club had a local chapter in Pound Ridge back in the 60s/70s, or so I've been told.
Jestei December 28, 2010
wow that's some santa!! and i agree it is such a pretty bottle, as are the others (elderflower etc)
dymnyno December 27, 2010
The drinks sound very different from each other...but both sound delicious!
Jestei December 28, 2010
they are -- oui chef's is very bourbon and the nutty professor, as i like to call it, is more fruit.
Sagegreen December 28, 2010
I could take offense at your naming the latter, but that would actually be my leaning, too.
Jestei December 28, 2010
@sagegreen: i call it that because joshua is a professor; he thinks the drink should be called red professor but somehow that does not quite do it for me.
Sagegreen December 28, 2010
You could have a naming contest next time you make the drink....maybe mad red professor or happy red professor...could be fun:>
QueenOfGreen December 27, 2010
I've had OuiChef's Crimson Bulleit Punch saved in my "favorites" to try for NYE - now I guess I'll have to try both! I'd say I'll get back to you on results, but being a bit of a lightweight, it may take a while getting scraped up off the party floor...
Jestei December 28, 2010
please report back!
Sagegreen December 27, 2010
What a stunning photo! I almost bought elder flower, tempted by the beauty of the bottle, but did not. Cocktails: a whole new world awaits. Thanks for featuring this tempting one with guiding variants.
Jestei December 28, 2010
her photos make me want to eat/drink anything. they are the BEST.
msitter December 27, 2010
Better double all the proportions and drink it fast if Jenny is going to cover the incoming congress.
Jestei December 28, 2010
ha ha.