Winter punch bowls
Spirits, citrus, sugar and spice: These four components make up the age-old formula for what cocktail historian David Wondrich calls in his new book Punch (Perigee Trade, $24) “the delights (and dangers) of the flowing bowl.” While summer punches adhere to these guidelines for balance, they tend to be fruitier and sweeter, which is why spicier notes and brown spirits make winter punch especially compelling. At the Drawing Room (937 N Rush St, 312-255-0022), Charles Joly (who was recently named “America’s Top Bartender” in the reality TV competition On The Rocks) serves the Guild Meeting (serves 2–4, $38) in one of the bar’s antique bowls; Rittenhouse 100 rye whiskey, orange and lemon juice and vanilla sugar take care of spirits, citrus and sugar, while double-chai tea adds spice. The Violet Hour (1520 N Damen Ave, 773-252-1500) turns to Saigon cinnamon syrup and Zwack (a Hungarian herbal liqueur) to add a whiff of winter to the bourbon-centric Buddha & Pest punch bowl (serves 3–4, $30), while the Southern (1840 W North Ave, 773-342-1840) sheds its summery vibe by adding bitters and apple cider to Jim Beam rye whiskey in the Stonewall ($56). That last punch bowl holds 10-15 cocktails, so enlist enough friends to ensure more delight than danger.