Bourbon-pineapple punch (Matt Wallace’s Rabbit Punch)

There comes a time in one woman’s life where she must make peace with the ridiculously large TV that her husband insisted upon, and use its powers for good. That time is called “San Francisco Forever Young Adult Presents: An Afternoon With Magic Mike.”

I recently hosted a book club party at which we watched the most important film of our generation, while drinking delicious beverages and eating snacks. (One snack was the Pioneer Woman’s rosemary skewers — DO make them ahead so the rosemary flavor permeates everything, and DO make a ton.) This punch is ideal for making ahead of time — you make the oleo-saccharum (fancy term for the oily, sugary mixture resulting when you mash citrus peels and sugar together) and the ice ahead of time, and then throw everything together at the end.

Of course, you may or may not have a ridiculously large TV, a book club, or an interest in Magic Mike — but you may have an interest in an amazing bourbon pineapple drink. And you might not want to make an entire batch.

Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam and an herbed goat cheese, provided by my friend Diana — and a couple of my jams + my spicy pickled apicots!


Identities of the partygoers have been pixelated.

This punch is delicious, and it was dreamed up by Matt Wallace from Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles. The original recipe also makes 20 drinks. That’s great for party and an afternoon or evening of drinking, but what if you just want a few?

Mom let me borrow her gorgeous vintage punch bowl.

This is where I — and happily, Heather from A Sage Amalgam — come in. Heather had me over to her house (we had her amazing gluten free delights, like polenta arancini with nduja and cheese straws), and we scaled down the recipe to a more manageable amount for a couple of people.  And mark my words: this drink is extremely strong in its initial form, so you need to either serve it over crushed ice (the scaled-down form) or wait for the ice to melt (punch bowl form).

For the punch bowl, I froze orange slices and water in tupperware to make pretty ice cubes.  For the smaller drinks, we served over crushed ice.


Adapted from Mike Wallace, serves 2-4 people


Note: This will make more than you need for the cocktails.  Either halve it or save half (but I suggest making the full amount…just in case).

  • Zest of 2 whole oranges
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar

Zest the orange and lemon in wide strips with a vegetable peeler.  Muddle with sugar in a mason jar (or other sealable container) and let sit at room temperature for at least two hours (1-2 days is better).  It will get oily and look something like this:

Look at that liquidy goodness.


Makes 4-6 cocktails

  • 2 generous tbsp oleo-saccharum (incl. peels)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

In a large shaker or 16 oz mason jar, combine the oleo-saccharum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and bourbon.  Shake until the shaker is extremely cold — 1-2 minutes.  Strain over a fine-mesh strainer into cocktail coupes over crushed ice.  Top with champagne.


5 responses to “Bourbon-pineapple punch (Matt Wallace’s Rabbit Punch)

  1. Pingback: The Busy Girl’s (or Guy’s) Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving | Frolic & Detour·

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