Best Whiskey Punch Recipe

The BEST whiskey punch recipe made with salted honey simple syrup and topped with drunken cherries! This sweet and sour party drink serves a crowd and is perfect for holiday soirees, game day parties, or birthday celebrations.

Salted Honey Whiskey Sour Punch with Drunken Cherries, overhead view

If you’re looking for a punch recipe that will impress your guests, this is it! This large batch recipe has it all – a little sweet, a little citrus, and a liqueur-infused cherry on top. It’s ideal for a festive cocktail party or adult birthday celebration.

Why You’ll Love It

There are two secrets to the success of this punch. The homemade salted honey simple syrup, and the liqueur-soaked cherries. Both add something special that make this recipe unique and delicious, and seriously the best party punch!

Whiskey Punch with Drunken Cherries, in punch bowl overhead view

This elevated version of a whiskey sour gives a modern twist to a classic cocktail, and feeds a crowd. It goes well with a savory appetizers party, or cheese and charcuterie parties.


  • Whiskey. I like to use a good mid-range whiskey brand such as Jack Daniels, or Evan Williams. You can also substitute with bourbon.
  • Lemon Juice & Lime Juice. For this punch you can use bottled lemon juice and lime juice. Make sure it’s good quality.
  • Ginger Ale. I love this soda because it adds effervescence without adding a lot of extra sweetness or taste; just a touch of ginger! Make sure it’s chilled before adding it.
  • Salted Honey Simple Syrup. Make it from scratch using my recipe below. It’s a game changer!
  • Drunken Cherries. Follow the simple steps for these below, using dark cherries packed in syrup and orange liqueur. You’ll serve these in a bowl with a spoon so guests can add it to their own drink. It’s the crowning touch!
adding cherries to punch glass

How to Make Whiskey Sour for a Crowd

  1. Combine the whiskey, lemon and lime juices, and simple syrup together in a large bowl or pitcher, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Add chilled ginger ale just before serving.
  3. Place the bowl of cherries next to the punch, along with a spoon to garnish the top of a drink with 1 or 2 cherries and bit of the syrup.

How to Make Salted Honey Simple Syrup

The real star of this recipe is the salted honey simple syrup. It adds just the right amount of sweetness with a hint of salt. You’ll want to add it to so many other drinks! It would be amazing in homemade lemonade.

Be sure to make this up to 2 weeks ahead, and refrigerate.

  1. Combine the honey and water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the salt and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
how to make Drunken Cherries

How to Make Drunken Cherries

They’re quick and easy to make but you do need to make them at least 24 hours in advance, or several days.

Simply combine the two ingredients, keeping them covered and refrigerated while they marinate and absorb the orange liqueur flavor.

  • Jar of dark cherries in syrup; they may be labeled as Italian cherries in the store.
  • Orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau.

You’re in for a treat when you add them to your glass to top off the punch. They add another layer of flavor and a nice red tint of color.

PARTY TIP: You don’t have to drain the cherries from their syrup per say, but you definitely want the cup measure to be full of cherries, not full of syrup.

lemon ice cubes

Expert Tips

If you don’t have a punch bowl you can easily serve this from a pitcher. In fact I’ve found that serving punch from two pitchers works great for a party.

  • Keep one pitcher out on the bar to serve while the other is staying cold in the refrigerator.
  • You can easily adjust the flavor of this punch by adding a full 2-liter bottle of ginger ale. This will also increase the amount of punch you have in case you are trying to stretch it for a larger crowd.
  • Garnish your drinks with sweetened dried lemon slices. I find these at Trader Joe’s.
  • Freeze sliced lemons and limes in over-sized ice cubes or make an ice ring using a bundt pan. Add it to the punch to keep it chilled. The oversize ice will melt much slower.
  • Float sliced lemons and limes in the punch bowl as a visual clue to what flavors are inside.
three glasses with red drink and punch bowl in background, with bowl of dark cherries.

More Punch Recipes

While this is certainly one of my favorite punch recipes to serve, here are some others you should check out.

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Salted Honey Whiskey Sour Punch with Drunken Cherries, party recipe

Best Whiskey Punch

Yield: about 16
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Whiskey Sour Punch is one of our best party punch recipes! It's slightly sweet, with a kiss of salt, & very unique. The salted honey simple syrup adds so much interesting flavor while the drunken cherries on top give it extra style!


  • 1 cup salted honey simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whiskey (or bourbon)
  • 1-2 liters ginger ale (according to your taste)

Salted Honey Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Drunken Cherries

  • 1 cup dark cherries in syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur


  1. In a punch bowl or pitcher combine simple syrup, lemon and lime juices, and whiskey. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Add ginger ale just before serving.
  3. Pour in a glass and add 1 or 2 drunken cherries with syrup to the drink.


  1. Bring the honey and water to a boil. Add salt and stir. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Refrigerate before using, and for up to two weeks.


  1. Place ingredients in a bowl and let soak for at least a day.

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One Comment

  1. Yum! That looks absolutely delicious. I think I must try this recipe! Thank you for sharing.

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