Kicky Summer Punches for a Great 4th of July Celebration

Here’s to you! Batch up your cocktails for easy home entertaining

Mixologist members of Chocolate City’s Best bar guild gather on the roof of The Apollo on H Street to test Kapri Robinson’s summer drinks recipes.

Mixologist members of Chocolate City’s Best bar guild gather on the roof of The Apollo on H Street to test Kapri Robinson’s summer drinks recipes.

By Kapri Robinson, from the Edible DC Summer 2019 Issue

I was given the quintessential summer challenge from the Edible DC editorial team: What can a host make ahead of time, in a large format, and finish off easily—so that guests can serve themselves and the host can relax? Here are three punch or pitcher-format cocktails—bright, fresh, sparkling and citrusy. If you have a punch bowl, bring it out. Otherwise, now is the time to find a beautiful large pitcher and fun summer cocktail glasses.

All recipes serve 4–6 people.

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The Old Cuban

This is one of my favorite rum drinks. My inspiration was drawn from Hank’s Oyster Bar on the Wharf who did an Old Cuban to share last year. It’s a great cocktail and just screams summer.

16 ounces lime juice

16 ounces simple syrup

32 ounces Santa Teresa 1796 or another dark rum*

8 dashes Angostura Bitters

Fresh mint leaves

1 bottle sparkling white wine

Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl. At party time, add ice and top with sparkling wine to your liking. Garnish with sprigs of mint.

*If you prefer a stronger punch, use 48 ounces of rum. In hotter months, the ice may melt more quickly, diluting the strength.

Sinners and Saints, garnished with grapefruit slices.

Sinners and Saints, garnished with grapefruit slices.

Sinners and Saints

Going away from sweet, I wanted to do a cocktail that was a tad bitter and not citrusy at all—but light and refreshing and, of course, great with food.

32 ounces Cynar

48 ounces St-Germain 

1 bottle sparkling white wine

Pour into the Cynar and St-Germain into a punch bowl. At party time, add ice and top with the sparkling wine to your liking. Garnish with grapefruit slices. 

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Blackberry Cachaça Daquiri

My idea for this punch came from last year’s Chocolate City’s Best competition and The People’s Choice Award Winner, Chris Martino, currently at Taqueria del Barrio in Petworth. Berries and cachaça go so well together—it’s a drink that is easy on the eye and summery with a rum funkiness in the background.

32 ounces fresh lime juice

24 ounces blackberry syrup*

64 ounces Leblon cachaça

Add the ingredients to a punch bowl, add ice, stir, then enjoy! Garnish with lime slices and whole fresh blackberries. 

*To make blackberry syrup, put 2 cups of water, a cup of freshly puréed blackberries and 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil, then add a small jar of unsweetened blackberry jam. Stir well to incorporate. Take off the heat and let cool, straining to remove the seeds. Keep the extra syrup in a jar in your refrigerator for up to a week.


Kapri Robinson is founder of Chocolate City’s Best bar competition. Robinson is profiled in the Summer Issue of  Edible DC  in the feature story, “Cocktails of a Different Feather.”

Kapri Robinson is founder of Chocolate City’s Best bar competition. Robinson is profiled in the Summer Issue of Edible DC in the feature story, “Cocktails of a Different Feather.”