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Punches have been around for hundreds of years. From their roots in the Polynesian islands to modern fraternity party “jungle juice” concoctions, they’ve remained the universal go-to vessels for communal drinking.

There’s an old, reliable, sing-song recipe for building a punch: One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak, and a touch of spice to make it nice. However, today’s punch leaves out the “weak,” resulting in a punch that definitely packs a punch. The drink in question? The Pisco Punch.

As a testament to its booziness, when Duncan Nichol first made the Pisco Punch famous at San Francisco’s Bank Exchange bar, he enforced a strict three-drink limit on the cocktail — a rule that only added to its allure. Though Nichols took his signature recipe to the grave, bartenders have since reinvented the Pisco Punch, and we’d like to think they’re all doing it justice.

Here to walk us through the first punch we’ve ever covered on the “Cocktail College” podcast is Jay Pouliot, bar manager of Daytona Beach’s Mama Foo Foo. Tune in for more.

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Jay Pouliot’s Pisco Punch Recipe


  • 1 ½ ounces Acholado Pisco (or aromatic like Italia or Torentelle)
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce pineapple gum
  • ½ ounce Dubonnet or Lillet Rouge
  • Garnish: candied pineapple wedge


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  4. Garnish with a candied pineapple wedge.