Food & Drink

Charleston Brown Water Society Punch

Serves 28 (4 oz. individual serving)

A bourbon party punch from the Holy City

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

In Charleston, South Carolina, nearly every social club of note has its signature drink—a tradition that dates back at least as far as the late eighteenth century, when the dashing young socialites who called themselves the Light Dragoons paraded through the streets, raising glasses of rum-and-brandy punch. So it’s only natural that The Charleston Brown Water Society, a dedicated group of bourbon drinkers and proselytizers, has one too. Roderick Weaver created this punch to serve at society events, where you’ll typically find a pitcher tucked among many bottles of bourbon. The punch isn’t strictly whiskey-driven. There’s a hit of dark rum and a sweet citrusy mix to tame the burn, and it makes for a great sipper at any gathering. Serve it in a punch bowl, and, per Brown Water tradition, be sure to raise a toast to the society after you ladle out the first round.


    • 3 cups bourbon, preferably Johnny Drum Private Stock

    • 2 cups dark rum, preferably Mount Gay

    • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

    • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

    • 2 cups honey simple syrup (1 cup honey dissolved in 1 cup water)

    • 2 cups demerara sugar syrup (1 cup demerara sugar dissolved in 1 cup water)

    • 3 cups soda water

    • Garnish: Orange slices


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the soda water. Chill. Pour into a punch bowl with a large block of ice, and add soda water just before serving, with orange slices for garnish.

Recipe from Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook