Punch bowl, reimagined
Found in the shapes of swans, disco balls, or copper cups, punches at The Dorsey cocktail lounge in Las Vegas’ The Venetian hotel come in three flavors, priced at $90 for four to six servings. “They give guests the opportunity to try something new while having a shared experience,” says Juyoung Kang, lead bartender. And their unique presentations can also provide the “wow” and celebratory factors, especially if guests get the seasonal “royale” option, meaning it contains Champagne.
The most popular punch at The Dorsey, however, is Green Street, “probably because it has vodka,” Kang says. The other ingredients are lime, cucumber, green apple, mint, and club soda.
Provision No. 14 in Washington, D.C., inventively uses French presses for its five large-format cocktails, which sell for $44 serving four to five people. These communal cocktails create a fun, interactive experience for its upscale clientele.
“What’s nice about it is we use fresh garnishes inside, so not only does it look wonderful but, when you plunge on the handle, it pushes all the flavor [elements] out,” says Ralph Nader, general manager at Provision No. 14. “The more you leave the garnishes in, the more they steep.”
The popular Grapefruit Press has vodka, grapefruit, mint, and basil, while the Autumn Harvest combines rye whiskey, applejack brandy, black pepper, lemon, thyme, and pear.
Drinks and a show
Polynesian restaurants and tiki lounges are known for their showy cocktails, making large-format cocktails a natural fit for these concepts.
Individual cocktails can be turned into large-formats—called kuuipo—or a bowl at The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas. Two bowl-specific cocktails arriving in carved vessels with straws are the Scorpion Bowl, $35, which is a combination of rum, gin, vodka, and fruit juices, and the Zombie Punch Bowl, $45, with three rums, spices, and juices.
Some cocktails at The Golden Tiki—whether they be individual or large-format—trigger light and sound shows within the restaurant or arrive with flames or smoke from dry ice. “It’s part of the escapism,” says Branden Powers, managing partner. “The more drinks we can set on fire, the better.”
The team at Kaya agrees with Powers’ sentiment. The Zap Pow, $64, similar to a Hurricane with blended rum, blood orange, passion fruit, grenadine, and jerk bitters, is also set aflame. For that “wow” effect, a half of a blood orange is placed at the center of the bowl, sprinkled with rum, cinnamon, and allspice and lit on fire. What says “party” better than with a bowl of flaming booze?