Depending on the level of your cocktail connoisseurship, you might either associate the word “punch” with something Jungle Juice-esque served from a dorm room recycling bin, or something your mom does in a crystal bowl for the holidays involving Champagne.
TL;DR on punch: Back in the days of roadside taverns, when roads were occupied only by horse-drawn vehicles, many barkeeps kept a large supply of a house punch on hand, both as a way to make their liquor go farther and as a way to mask or soften the flavors of harsh hooch. Over the centuries, various Old and New World bars came up with their own punch styles, some involving teas or added liqueurs, and fancier ones involving the addition of Champagne or Port.
Around San Francisco, you can sample punches like these at a few bars year-round, in addition to plenty of large-format punches made in a less traditional fashion, and some other spots are offering special punches specifically for the holidays. Consider this a create-your-own punch-crawl guide.
Note: map points are listed geographically West to East, not ranked.Read More