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  • Megan

Juneteenth Red Punch

Updated: May 28, 2023

In this drink:

- ice

- frozen berries

- bourbon

- ginger beer

- red fruit juice

- rosé (white wine or sparkling wine is good too)

I’m ashamed to say I was only vaguely aware of Juneteenth until this year. And I wasn’t alone. Most people I know were in the same boat—or had never even heard of the holiday.

How can this be? Juneteenth commemorates the liberation of Black Americans from enslavement. We should all be observing the day.

My observance involved red punch, a Juneteenth staple that represents the red hibiscus and kola nuts brought from West Africa to the Americas with the slave trade. My recipe is an adapted and simplified version of chef Edouardo Jordan’s.

I tossed ice and frozen berries into a glass along with a shot of bourbon. Then I poured in roughly equal parts ginger beer and red fruit juice (I used cranberry pineapple, but anything punch-y will do). I topped with a splash of rosé because that’s what I had, though Jordan’s recipe calls for sparkling wine.

I shot a photo of my punch and posted it on Instagram with a hearty “Happy Freedom Day!” Later that night I watched 13th for the first time and felt like a fool—the documentary made it abundantly clear that Black Liberation has yet to happen. I was never under the delusion that we live in a post-racial society; but I, like so many others, hadn’t understood the extent to which our criminal justice system is an evolved form of slavery, disproportionately targeting and disenfranchising Black Americans.

We have so much work to do if we want to build the great country that we claim to be.


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