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A punch to get the heart racing

March 30, 2016

I’m talking about punch for drinking of course, although its meaning comes from the Hindi word for five as it traditionally contains five ingredients.  It makes me think of fun times, parties, and people putting questionable things into the punch bowl (misspent youth). It’s high time punch had a revival, regaining sophistication and elegance and banishing memories of the dayglo-pour-anything-in teenage variety.

March was crazy busy in Dubai, with the Dubai Food Festival, Art Dubai, Design Days and the Literature Festival all happening this month. Impossible to do it all (plus I escaped for an incredible trip to Jordan – more on that soon). The sporting highlight is undoubtedly the Dubai World Cup of Racing which was on last weekend. I missed it this year as some good friends were in town for one night only. Salons and hat shops were heaving on Saturday but by the evening the whole place had an eerie feeling of being deserted. Everyone was out at Meydan watching some of the most expensive horse flesh race on the flat, followed by a post-race concert by Janet Jackson.

When I asked Denzel to make a racing inspired cocktail I thought he’d include Champagne but his inspiration came from four wheels rather than four legs and a long-term sponsor (since 1962) – Martini & Rossi. So this beautiful punch was born, a little twist on Simone Caporale’s Martini Royale Punch, and it just cries out for a party. The five elements are SOUR (lime juice), SWEET (the Maraschino liqueur), STRONG (the Bombay Sapphire London Dry gin with lots of juniper and coriander botanicals), LENGTH (the Martini Bianco with hints of dried orange and lemon peel) and SPICE from the cinnamon sticks, frozen berries, rosebuds and citrus.

Now where do I get my hands on an enormous punch bowl? Race you there…

Martini Royale Punch - recipe on

Martini Royale Punch 2.0

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Punch bowl
  • Jug
  • Stirrer


  • Large clear block of ice
  • 400ml Hibiscus infused Bombay Sapphire
  • 150ml Luxardo Maraschino
  • 150ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • 400ml Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 100ml Martini Bianco
  • Garnishes: dehydrated citrus slices, raspberries, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, edible rose buds.
  • Icing sugar

How to mix

  1. Put a large clear block of ice into the middle of a large punch bowl (or half fill with cubed ice).
  2. Measure all the liquid ingredients into a very large bowl or jug and stir well. Pour into punch bowl.
  3. Garnish with fresh fruit, dehydrated lemon, orange or grapefruit slices, and other ingredients. Sieve a tablespoon of icing sugar over the top and serve immediately in punch glasses.

*Hibiscus infused Bombay Sapphire

In a jar, combine 250ml Bombay Sapphire gin with 5 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers. Let it stand at room temperature overnight. Strain into a jar. (Leftover infused gin can be kept indefinitely.)

Here’s Simone Caporale making his original version – I think Denzel’s is even prettier.

Looking for more gin-spiration? Try Jeanne of Cooksister very berry gin and tonic cocktails, Fuss Free Flavour Helen’s gin and melon slushie and Kate from Veggie Desserts cucumber gin and tonic.

What sort of memories does punch hold for you?

  1. March 30, 2016 4:02 pm

    What a wonderful idea to revive punch. Never knew where the name originated though.
    Have a beautiful day Sally.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. March 30, 2016 4:22 pm

    How beautiful! Those flavours and THAT PUNCHBOWL! If ever I were to be faced with this, I would be in heaven. Yes, let’s bring back punch (and misspent youths) 🙂

  3. March 30, 2016 4:31 pm

    Hibiscus infused Bombay Sapphire?! My gosh, this sounds fantastic.

  4. March 30, 2016 5:52 pm

    Wow now that is a punch if I’ve ever seen one. I’m sure that is a crowd pleaser.

  5. mita56 permalink
    March 30, 2016 6:25 pm

    I know what you mean about misspent youth and punches….. I have to try out this punch recipe. but first the gin.

  6. Garlic + Zest permalink
    March 30, 2016 6:27 pm

    Well, this sounds amazing! I’d be sure to have a designated driver handy before sipping on this one!

  7. March 30, 2016 6:30 pm

    This sounds very good and I love how it is pretty to look at, too!

  8. March 30, 2016 6:42 pm

    This looks really good and love the little history on the origin of the 5 ingredients. So love the culture of food.

  9. March 30, 2016 7:48 pm

    It looks really delicious! A lovely combination of flavours.



  10. March 30, 2016 9:46 pm

    This punch looks so tempting and I love a good drink that combines lots of different flavours such as this. a real party livener I am sure!

  11. March 31, 2016 11:53 am

    HIbiscus-infused gin? Goals. Gorgeous punch. The fruit makes it healthy, right?

  12. April 1, 2016 11:31 am

    very, very luxurious…it’s not going to catch on in La Moussiere:)

  13. April 3, 2016 8:30 pm

    This has my name written all over it…

  14. April 6, 2016 6:50 am

    That punch looks and sounds most deliciously fragrant – especially with the delightful Bombay Sapphire (a personal favourite).
    And thanks for the info on where it got it’s name – I had no idea!

  15. April 15, 2016 4:41 pm

    Yes, it is time to revive punch. Can you get hibiscus infused Bombay Sapphire in Dubai? Or Duty Free as still without no liquor licence.

  16. April 18, 2016 11:02 pm

    Holy cow, this looks incredible. And your photography is amazing.

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