At Modern Luxury, connection and community define who we are. We use cookies to improve the Modern Luxury experience - to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We take your privacy seriously and want you to be aware that we have recently made changes to our Privacy Policy, which can be found here.


Oscar Parties: Movie-Themed Punch Recipes From SF Bars

Carolyn Alburger | February 22, 2013 | Story Wine and Spirits

When the Academy Awards air on Sunday night, house viewing parties will be rolling across the land. If you’re hosting, you can ease the awkwardness of all the terribly awkward Oscar moments with bubbly, or—better yet—bubbly punch. We asked five San Francisco bartenders to come up with movie-themed punch recipes that are easy to make for a big group. Here are the award-worthy results:

1) The Long Winter Punch, Inspired by Lincoln
Credit: Jon Gasparini of

The most popular spirit of the 1860’s was rye, but Lincoln was a well-documented lover of tea. Gasparini mixes the two with sparkling wine for a punch that’s slightly bitter and fully sophisticated.

1 bottle rye whiskey
10 oz. fresh lemon juice
16 oz. strong black tea
¾ bottle of champagne or sparkling wine
15 dashes Angostura bitters
zest from two lemons and one orange

At least one hour before serving, muddle zest and sugar in a punch bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the same bowl along with blocks of ice. Stir and garnish with clove-studded citrus.

2) Argo Punch Yourself! inspired by Argo
Credit: Steven Liles of
Smuggler’s Cove

Flavors found in Iranian cooking such as pomegranate molasses, mint, lemon and anise give this punch a sense of place. Then Liles adds Galliano, one of the most popular liqueurs of the 1970’s, to root his punch in the proper era.

1 bottle Flor de Cana white rum
1 bottle chilled sparkling wine or champagne
32 oz. chilled mineral water
12 oz. Galliano
18 oz. fresh lemon juice
12 oz. cinnamon syrup*
6 oz. real grenadine
6 oz. pomegranate molasses
12 dashes Angostura bitters

Mix all ingredients in punch bowl. Add large blocks of ice. Garnish with mint, star anise, and slices of citrus.

*Make cinnamon syrup ahead of time with one cup of sugar, one cup of water and three cinnamon sticks heated together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Let stand for two hours, then strain and refrigerate.

3) Flaming Django Punch inspired by Django Unchained
Credit: Scott Baird of Trick Dog

The most labor-intensive punch of this lot, Baird’s bitter and spicy creation has everything Quentin Tarantino would love: high proof bourbon, gunpowder (tea), blood (orange) and fire.

1 bottle Wild Turkey 101 bourbon
9 oz. Campari
17 oz. gunpowder green tea
17 oz. fresh squeezed blood orange juice with, strained of pulp (Save orange halves.)
13.5 oz. Meyer lemon juice, strained of pulp
9 oz. clement sirop de canne
17 oz. root beer
13 dashes Angostura
Pinch salt

Brew loose tea with three times the amount of recommended water. Add all ingredients except for root beer to the punch bowl and stir. Scrape all flesh out of orange halves and invert each one to form an orange peel cup. Set aside. Thirty minutes before serving, add large clear blocks of ice to punch. Just before serving, add root beer. Now make the flaming garnish: Spoon two T. superfine sugar into orange cups, add an ounce of Everclear or Bacardi 151. Place cups gently into the punch so they float. When guests arrive, light each cup on fire, and enjoy the show.

4) Fleur de Framboise inspired by Les Miserables
Credit: Joel Teitelbaum of Harry Denton’s Starlight Room

Les Miserables is dramatic and heart wrenching, so Teitelbaum made this punch “bright and effervescent” on purpose: “to counter all the sobbing.”

16 oz. chamomile infused vodka*
8 oz. fresh lemon juice
8 oz. Mathilde Framboise liqueur
8 oz. Gloria Ferrar Blanc De Noir champagne
6 oz. simple syrup
Place all ingredients in a large punch bowl with ice. Garnish with lemon wheels and fresh raspberries.

*Infuse 1 liter of vodka with ½ cup of dried chamomile flowers by letting the two ingredients sit together. Alter the intensity of flavor by adjusting the time from one hour (for the mildest infusion) to overnight for a strong chamomile flavor.

5) Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of inspired by The Maltese Falcon
Credit: Clair Sprouse of Tradition

Sprouse pairs two San Francisco classics: The Maltese Falcon, the award-winning 1941 film set in San Francisco, and a punch version of the Boothby cocktail, which is “essentially a Manhattan topped with sparkling wine or champagne.

1 bottle rye whiskey
12 oz. sweet vermouth
12 oz. Small Hands pineapple gomme syrup (available at Cask
24 oz. champagne
12 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in punch bowl. Garnish with citrus and brandied cherries.

Have feedback? Email us at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Carolyn Alburger on Twitter @CarolynAlburger


Photography by: