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Do you remember those brightly colored punches served at high school dances and reunions?
They are always floating around in films about high school, though I can’t for the life of me remember a time when one was actually served to me in real life.
The only exception was the Kool-Aid my friend’s mom would serve on hot summer afternoons.
I used to think that this was what qualified as “punch.” Whenever anyone offered me punch, I would think of the sickly sweet powder-based beverage, and politely decline.
Even when the host boasted that there was booze in it, as an adult I had flashbacks to college parties where jungle juice was served out of giant coolers.
Again, all I could think was YUCK.
If you have visited any bars recently, you’ll notice that punches are making a comeback on the cocktail scene.
Fancy punches are being slung across all the upscale bars I frequent, and I have to say, I am now a convert.
Punches are actually quite delicious, and they aren’t just sweetness in a cup anymore.
Now, these cocktails come with boozy soaked fruit that’s flavorful and complex – not soaked in grain alcohol like the ones I was served in college. The layers of flavors in these drinks are unique and oh-so-varied.
The best part is, they are easy to make at home, and especially fantastic for a party.
That’s why I’ve taken to serving punches when I host. By putting it all in one bowl, I don’t have to worry about setting up a full bar and playing bartender all night for my guests.
I love gathering friends and family together, with delicious food and boozy drinks to enjoy while we all scream at the TV in celebration, or in anger.
Hey, sometimes those refs just don’t know what they are doing, you know?
Having a punch made and ready to go is the best way to serve something special without requiring you to make individual cocktails. You can simply make it and leave it to chill in the refrigerator, allowing guests to get their own refills as they desire.
So what is a Kirsche Colabierbowle?
This particular punch is a winner for beer drinkers and cocktail lovers alike. It has a unique flavor, combining cola, beer, and cherry in a pitcher. Don’t knock it until you try it, because it really is tasty!
The cola and beer pair together in a surprisingly delicious way. The cherry flavor is subtle in the punch itself, but the sherry-soaked cherries that garnish the glass give you an extra pop of flavor.
I recommend making sure that you chill everything, and don’t water this punch down with ice as you let it sit. It’s better to serve it over ice in small glasses, because it won’t be staying in those ice-filled glasses for long.
Yes, this punch goes down dangerously easy. You’ve been warned.Print
Your festive gathering is about to get a whole lot more tasty when you serve this flavorful German-style punch.
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 40-oz bottle Altbier (if not using cola, a lite beer is preferred), chilled
- 2 cups cola, chilled
- 1 tsp cherry liqueur
- The night before your event, soak the cherries in the sherry in a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate all ingredients.
- Drain cherries, and reserve the sherry for later use.
- On the day of the event, combine the Altbier, cola, and cherry liqueur in a large punch bowl or glass pitcher. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.
- Serve in glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with one or two sherry-soaked maraschino cherries.
Nutritional information includes 1 maraschino cherry per glass for garnish, not the whole batch.
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: German
Keywords: punch, cocktail, German, cola, cherry
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Soak Fruit and Chill Ingredients
If you like, you can get this recipe started by making your own maraschino cherries at home. But if you don’t have time, any good-quality jarred version will do.
I personally prefer to avoid the day-glo red kind in favor of something like these Merry Maraschino Cherries from Stonewall Kitchen, made without corn syrup or red dye.
Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherries, available from Stonewall Kitchen
Drain the cherries and combine with the sherry in a glass jar with a lid. Tighten the lid on the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
Place all remaining ingredients in the refrigerator to chill. You can measure the cherry liqueur ahead of time if you don’t want to put the whole bottle in the fridge, but be sure to keep the cola sealed until you’re ready to use it so it won’t lose any carbonation.
Step 2 – Make Punch
Measure out the chilled beer, cola, and cherry liqueur.
When you’re ready to serve, combine the Altbier, cola, and cherry liqueur in a large punch bowl or glass pitcher.
Stir to combine.
Drain the cherries, and reserve the sherry in the refrigerator for later use in another recipe.
Step 3 – Serve
Serve your punch chilled, in glasses filled with ice.
Set out the sherry-soaked cherries in a small bowl, so guests can garnish their glasses with one or two.
What Can I Do with the Leftover Cherry-Infused Sherry?
At the end of this recipe, you will have some leftover cherry-infused sherry. There are several ways to use this up.
You can add it to lemonade for a boozy refreshing twist. You can incorporate it into mulled wine for a rich cherry finish. Or you can substitute it in any recipe that requires sherry to make a cherry version of the recipe.
Want more punch recipes? Check out these delicious suggestions for your upcoming gatherings:
When will you serve this festive beverage? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you’ve tried it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Recipe originally published by Sandy Weismann on September 3, 2013. Last updated: December 29, 2019 at 6:17 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.