A St. Charles Punch with a Port Wine Twist | Wine Enthusiast
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A St. Charles Punch with a Port Wine Twist

Adapted from Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em, by Neal Bodenheimer and Emily Timberlake (Abrams, 2022).

An updated variation of the house cocktail once served at the historic St. Charles Hotel, this mixed drink is “all about the wine,” Bodenheimer says— and that makes it particularly versatile. Shaken and poured over crushed ice, as suggested below, the concoction yields a relatively light, refreshing sipper, but it can also be built in the glass and stirred with a large ice cube for a more contemplative approach, or even served warm, like mulled wine. For those celebrating with a group, Bodenheimer suggests scaling up the ingredients in a punch bowl over a giant block of ice. “You’ll be happy any way you do it,” he assures.

How to Make a St. Charles Punch


1 ounce ruby Port, such as Quinta do Infantado
1 ounce Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ ounce lemon-orange oleo syrup* or Cocktail & Sons Oleo Saccharum syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Dehydrated lemon wheel (or fresh if dried is unavailable), for garnish


Combine all the ingredients in a shaker without ice, dry-shake, then double-strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice (or one large ice cube, if preferred).

Garnish with lemon wheel.

How To Make Lemon-Orange Oleo Syrup

*Combine peels of 2 lemons and a peel of 1 orange with 1 cup white sugar in a nonreactive container and let rest in a warm, dark place for at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours.

Add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the sugar dissolves. y

Once cool, fine-strain into a nonreactive container.

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Makes about 1 cup.

This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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