Nothing energizes a party like spiking the punch. It’s like the time I accidentally dropped a plate of oysters in the punch bowl and everyone started making out.
Sharing punch with friends is the perfect group activity and is guaranteed to break the ice. Andrew Jackson knew the power of punch. When the crowds at Jackson’s inaugural ball became uncontrollable, the staff served punch out on the lawn to draw people out of the White House. Or like the time he punched Richard Lawrence for trying to kill him.
- Order the very same Presidential Punch that Jackson served (sans white knuckles) at Jackson 20, made with Leblon cachaca, Jim Beam, Peach Schnapps, pineapple and cranberry juices, seasonal fruit and a Cabernet floater, $11/glass. 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA. 703. 842.2790.
- Another presidential punch can be found at Lincoln. The Emancipation Punch ($34, serves 6) is crisp, tart and warm with cloves, Bluecoat gin, Cuca Fresca cachaca, chamomile, lemon, and lavender bitters, served in a curtain-cut flint glass punch bowl. “We wanted the drink to be communal in nature,” says owner Alan Popovsky, “and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy a spring or summer evening.” 1110 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC. 202.386.9200.
- Hank’s Oyster Bar serves a house-made Church Lady Punch ($50, serves 4-6), which is what Dana Carvey sprays at would-be purse snatchers. This bubbly mix of vodka, sparkling wine, fresh fruit juices and sherbet also comes in a bigger bowl that serves 8-10. 1624 Q Street NW, Washington DC. 202.462.4265.
- To be enjoyed while in a flame-retardant grass skirt, the Le Lani Volcano ($19.50) at Majestic is served in a volcano bowl then set on fire. Made with Meyer’s rum, Jack Daniels, coconut water, guava nectar, pineapple juice and lime juices. It’s even served in tiki mugs. 911 King Street, Alexandria, VA. 703.837.9117.
Photo courtesy of Hank’s Oyster Bar
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.