I first heard of Mother’s Ruin Punch back in the summer of 2009 when my friend Gabby said she was planning on making the punch for our friend Krista’s bridal shower. As someone who has never liked grapefruit, I wouldn’t have ever made this drink without the seal of approval from a trusted drinking companion. A mix of gin, sweet vermouth, sparking wine, and lemon juice renders the bitterness of the grapefruit juice nearly undetectable. Instead, the ingredients work together to make a refreshing and potent drink.
I have made this drink several times since Summer 2009, mostly recently for the Mad Men Season 5 premiere party Alex and I hosted. Ideally I would have made old fashioneds and martinis for our guests, I didn’t want to spend most of the party playing bartender so opted for some Mothers Ruin Punch instead. I did have to warn our guests that while the drink is mostly tart and sweet, it is probably as strong as a martini due to the three different kinds of alcohol used. We did not want a repeat of this.
Mother’s Ruin Punch (from Philip Ward of Death & Co.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup chilled club soda
1 1/2 cups gin
1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice, plus 3 thinly sliced grapefruit wheels, for garnish
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sweet vermouth
2 1/4 cup chilled Champagne or sparkling wine
In a large pitcher, stir the sugar with the club soda until dissolved. Stir in the gin, grapefruit and lemon juices and sweet vermouth and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Transfer the punch to a large bowl. Gently stir in the Champagne and float the grapefruit wheels on top. Serve in punch glasses over ice.