How to Make Hank’s Oyster Bar’s Church Lady Punch

Throwing a party this weekend? Mix up a bowl of this sparkling-wine-topped punch.

Rainbow sherbet is the centerpiece of this fruity, festive punch. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson

“This drink is a throwback to the church socials of our youth,” says Megan Coyle, the mixologist at the newly opened lounge adjoining Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle. “There always seemed to be the ubiquitous bowl of brightly colored punch with an island of ice cream or sherbet floating—and slowly melting—in the center…For the most part, I remember these punches as being non alcoholic, but I certainly wouldn’t  have put it past those venerable women to have had a little something extra on hand to make all that socializing a little more lubricated.”

See Also:

Labor Day Weekend Guide

An Early Look at Hank’s Oyster Bar

To make your own gathering flow as nicely, mix the base of the punch a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld. When you’re ready to serve it, add the sherbet and bubbly. Fill a larger bowl with ice so you can set the punch bowl inside it.

Church Lady Punch

Serves 4 to 6  

6 ounces vodka (preferably Grey Goose or Belvedere)
6 ounces Ocean Spray sweetened cranberry juice  
6 ounces Dole’s pineapple juice
6 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
8 ounces rainbow sherbet (in one chunk or block), available at grocery stores
8 ounces sparkling wine, such as dry Prosecco

In a medium-sized punch bowl, combine all the ingredients except the sherbet and sparkling wine. Store it in the refrigerator, preferably a day before you plan to serve it. When you’re ready to serve the punch, place the sherbet in the center of the bowl and pour the sparkling wine overtop.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.