For this week’s nightcap we sat down with Patrick Williams, head of the beverage program for Punch Bowl Social. PBS, located in nine cities (another 10 in the works), is THE place where bowling meets craft drinks meets top-notch food meets shuffleboard, and everything in-between (including karaoke and arcade games). Grab a straw and join us for a chat with Patrick and get his secret on the 7-10 split.
NightOwl: Tell us about PBS and the idea to add so much fun under one roof.
Patrick: Punch Bowl Social has made a name for itself as a leader in the eatertainment movement – pairing from-scratch dishes and an innovative craft beverage program with social activities like bowling, vintage arcades, shuffleboard, ping-pong, marbles, skee-ball, private karaoke rooms and much more.
NightOwl: Congrats on being crowned Denver’s Punch King 2015 & 2016. Tell us about that, and is there an actual crown?
Patrick: Thanks! Punch Kings is a cocktail competition that is run within the very cool Cochon 555, a national chef’s competition, which focuses on heritage pork and partners up the farmer and the chef.
In 2015, I wanted to create a punch that would fit into the event and pair very well with pork. I utilized elements of smoke, citrus, berries, bourbon, rum, and intense spices. The recipe was called “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!” My strategy worked really well in 2015, so I used different ingredients with a similar strategy in 2016 with my “No Crown” punch. No crown, but a trophy and a very high end bottle of Breckenridge Bourbon were awarded.
NightOwl: How often do you update the offerings, and are there drinks that work in one city better than another?
Patrick: We update our menus slightly in Spring and Fall and keep regional trends and tastes in mind. For instance, our No Problema, made from mezcal fresh lime juice and our housemade grapefruit syrup, works great in Austin, Texas, where grapefruit is a popular flavor-profile.
NightOwl: Do you have a favorite punch bowl on the menu?
Patrick: That’s a tough call– I always joke that they’re like my kids and I love them all equally! But I have a special place in my heart for the Watermelon Polo Bowl. I created this punch after tasting Teakoe’s Watermelon Spearmint tea for the first time and decided right then and there tequila was the perfect accompaniment. The punch also uses a watermelon shrub, our house made strawberry syrup, and fresh lime juice. And if you don’t know what watermelon polo is, you have to Google it!
NightOwl: What is the proper etiquette for sharing a punch bowl? You have an 8 straw option for all of them.
Patrick: Host pours for everyone. Take the time to sip and enjoy!
NightOwl: What do you do if someone clearly backwashed?
Patrick: Once they’ve crossed that line, they should finish what they’ve started.
NightOwl: What are your favorite games to play there? Do you have the high score?
Patrick: My favorite game at Punch Bowl Social is our washer toss, kind of like corn hole (which we also have). I don’t lose at washers. Don’t even try.
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