Parish Hall Punch

Adapted from Sherry by Talia Baiocchi

For New York City bartender Damon Boelte, punch will always be associated with church, where on holidays like Easter there was always a bright bowl of punch in the Parish Hall after service. Punch at his Oklahoma church meant a combo of sherbet and ginger ale—the sort of mixture that undoubtedly turned small children into demons. But Boelte remembers savoring it as a kid and admits that the memory of it is so strong that, as a grown man, if he saw a bowl of ginger ale and sherbet he’d “fucking attack it.” This is his more sensible, adult version of that parish hall classic— a summery mix of grapefruit-infused sugar, Basque cider, ginger beer, amontillado, seltzer, and Old Tom gin.

Reprinted with permission from Sherry by Talia Baiocchi, copyright © 2014. Photo by Ed Anderson © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.



  • peels of 2 grapefruits
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup gin (preferably Greenhook Ginsmiths’ Old Tom Gin or Hayman's Old Tom)
  • 1/2 cup amontillado sherry
  • 1/2 cup Basque cider (preferably Isastegi or Sarasola)
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer (preferably Fever Tree)
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water

Garnish: 1 (3-inch) knob fresh ginger peeled and cut into coins, grapefruit peel

  1. Peel the grapefruits, taking care to avoid as much of the bitter white pith as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar with the grapefruit peels, then lightly muddle and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the citrus oils to infuse with the sugar.
  3. After 20 minutes, add the gin, sherry, cider, ginger beer and seltzer. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the ginger and the grapefruit peels to the bowl to garnish.
  5. To serve, ladle into punch cups over ice.

Tagged: cider, gin, grapefruit, punch