As the holiday season descends upon L.A., the prospect of drinking with friends and companions can be a little bit easier with a punch bowl. The styles range from classic Prohibition-era libations best sipped from small glass teacups, to the tiki kind that often is consumed with long straws. Whatever the type, punch bowls are a fun way to mix up group drinking, a nice departure from the typical bottle service that's common in clubs and lounges. Here below, a map of where to get punch bowls in and around Los Angeles.Read More
Where to Get Punch Bowls in Los Angeles
This tiki bar in the northern throes of the Valley features a few reasonably priced bowls that could be are great for sharing. The Tonga Punch uses both light and dark rums, orange curacao, and juices for a "vintage" Tonga Hut recipe. $10 for one and $36 for a serving that inebriates four people.
The punch bowls at this sexy Parisian lounge on Melrose changes daily, serving up to 20 people and costing $250. Not a bad way to get a party started, especially with burlesque dancers that hit the lounge on the weekends as entertainment.
The Spare Room
In an adult version of a game room, the Spare Room features bowling, board games, and excellent drinks in a swanky room in the heart of Hollywood. Punch bowls are a great way to spread the merriment, with offerings like the Clap of Thunder, based on gin, earl grey tea, leon, bitters, and more. Prices start at $60 for 4-6 people and go up to $240 that serves up to 20 folks.
Caña Rum Bar
This dark drinking den hidden in a parking garage in the heart of Downtown's South Park, Cana makes seasonal rum punches served in large bowls with classic glass cups. The Dusty Rose uses bourbon, lillet, lemon, hibiscus syrup, and Peychaud's bitters, costing from $48 for four to $96 for eight imbibers.
The unbeatable ambiance at this underground lounge in Downtown screams the best of Prohibition-era decor, and the punch bowls round out the experience. Consider a Whiskey Barrel Punch with bourbon, champagne, bitters, and more for $60 a bowl, which can serve up to six people.
The tiki-style punch bowl is still strong, and is generally a much better deal for the amount of booze one gets for the order. Though the feel is a little more corporate than some of the older-school places around town, Trader Vics does a decent job in a pinch. The Kava Bowl contains light and aromatic rums, fruit juices and almond syrups, serving 4 people for $28. Or try Trader Vic's Rum Cup for a mix of rums and juices served in a scorpion bowl.
Harvard & Stone
Reserving a table doesn't have to involve getting something like a bottle of vodka. Harvard & Stone offers punch bowls running $150-200 apiece that get the same care as the craft cocktails at the bar. Always a good option if you have a gang of people to entertain.
The rum or mojito punch bowls at this Havana-inspired cocktail and cigar lounge in East Hollywood run about $400, but ensure prime seating for the live performances and dancers in the main room.
This throwback cocktail program takes recipes from over the history of drinks, sometimes stretching back centuries. One punch, called the Martha Washington's Rum Punch, comes with 5 year English Harbor Rum, Batavia Arrack, lime sorbet, lemon sorbet, and spices. A punch for 6 costs $115 and one for 8 rungs $150.
These massive punch bowls can be made with any cocktail on the menu, like the Stan Lee, which is hibiscus and jasmine-infused gin, citrus, egg whites, and bitters. $225 for ten people.
Though they don't technically have punch bowls, drinks can be served in pitchers like the Eveleigh lemonade, made with chamomile-infused tequila, cocchi Americano, lemon and honey. They're $45 and serve anywhere from 5-7 people.
Lock & Key
This Koreatown speakeasy has a range of punches on offer depending on the day. If you get a table reservation, one can choose a punch of their choice with a base spirit. Price for the large punch bowl is $250, and just $10 for the punch of the day.
The punch program at this Manhattan Beach restaurant headed by Julian Cox and Josh Goldman includes selections like the Pretty Ricky, made with lime, St. Germain, Vodka, Sparkling Wine, and cherry, or a Frank Serpico, containing bourbon, rum, pineapple syrup, bitters, and fruit. $10 for one serving, and $100 for a bowl.