Jason Driscoll
Yield
15 to 20

Charlotte, North Carolina native Bob Peters is the head mixologist at the Queen & Glass in Charlotte's Dilworth neighborhood, but he has long been known around town as a master crafter of cocktails that truly represent the city and state he calls home. So, it’s no surprise that North Carolina’s very own Cheerwine came to Peters to develop the perfect cocktail for the holidays. “I’m a huge fan of North Carolina products so I have grown up with Cheerwine and love it to death. It’s one of those secrets of the South,” Peters told Southern Living. Cheerwine Holiday Punch comes out every year but is only available during the holiday season. It blends the original flavor of the cherry soda with the spice of ginger ale and the tang of pineapple. That’s the perfect base of flavor for Peters’ boozy holiday punch. “This is the perfect opportunity to get out your grandmother’s punch bowl,” Peters told us. He blends one bottle of Cheerwine Holiday Punch with one bottle of another North Carolina product, Turning Point bourbon. Then Peters says to add spices, and this is where you can add your own twist. Peters says he is a big fan of cinnamon, but other options include cloves, star anise, or even nutmeg. You can add additional punches of citrus with an orange peel or slices of pineapple. Then all you have to do is add ice and give it a stir. But the ice is where you can elevate your presentation. Why not use one of those vintage cake or Bundt pans as an ice mold? The best part? All of this can be done before your guests even arrive which means you don’t spend the party behind the bar.

“And the other neat thing about punch is, it’s very social. You know so when people go up to the punch bowl to get a refill, they meet people they haven’t met yet at the party,” said Peters.

 

How to Make It

Step 1

Pour one two-litre bottle of Cheerwine Holiday Punch and one bottle of Turning Point bourbon (or your bourbon of choice) into a punch bowl. 

Step 2

Add in whatever your favorite spices of the season may be. Cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmeg, or clove are all great options. Use the whole spice, not the ground stuff. Let them all just soak in the lovely punch bath. The longer they soak, the better the flavor.  

Step 3

Next you can enhance the pineapple juice flavore of the Cheerwine Holiday Punch with additonal citrus. You can add a splash of lime juice, orange peel, or even sliced fresh pineapple rings. It's all up to your preference. 

Step 4

If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, you can add a little simple syrup. (Equal parts sugar and water combined)

Step 5

Finally, add ice. You could just use a block of ice here or you could have fun. This would be a great place to use those vintage cake and bunt pans. Simple fill with water and freeze. Take them out and let them just sit for 5-10 minutes and the ice will slide right out of the mold with ease.