Commonwealth Punch

Recipe by Carla Carlton and Photography by Stephen Devries

“I first tasted this punch at a Bourbon Women event … and make it for every holiday party; it’s festive and tasty, and because guests can serve themselves, it frees me from bartending duties so I can mingle. And at least one or two people have asked for the recipe every time.

Note: You can’t whip this up at the very last minute, because you have to let the lemon peels soak in sugar for an hour, and allow the punch to chill in the refrigerator. But if you make it the morning of the party, the wonderful cinnamon smell of the Chai tea will linger in the air.” —  Editor-in-Chief Carla Carlton


    • 7 lemons (6 for punch, 1 for garnish)

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 4 cups water

    • 8 Chai tea bags

    • 1 can or bottle (12 ounces) Ginger Beer

    • Assorted cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, etc., for garnish


  1. Peel 6 lemons with a potato peeler. Set naked lemons aside. Put lemon peels and sugar in a bowl. Crush peels into sugar. Allow to sit for one hour.

  2. Juice the naked lemons. Strain juice to remove pulp.

  3. Brew the Chai tea bags in the 4 cups of water. Discard bags after use.

  4. Dissolve sugar and lemon peel mixture in Chai tea while warm. Remove peels and discard.

  5. Add 1 cup bourbon and juice from lemons.

  6. Chill in refrigerator. Before serving, add 1 can or bottle ginger beer.

  7. Garnish with lemon wheels and assorted spices floating in punch.

Michael Eman
Official Contributor
Kevin Gibson is a free-lance writer who writes for numerous publications, including Bourbon+ magazine, Thrillist, and Alcohol Professor.