Windfall Punch

Inspired by the wealth of high-quality, dry American cider available today, St. John Frizell of Fort Defiance in Brooklyn created a low-ABV punch that riffs on a classic champagne punch recipe found in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide (1862), which calls for lemon, orange and pineapple juices.

Frizell says, “The recipe really came together when I added amontillado sherry, which brings a nutty, oxidized tang, and somehow calls to mind fallen leaves, which works well with the bitter-tart flavors of the cider. Altogether, it’s like a walk through an apple orchard in autumn—which is why I named it Windfall Punch, after the apples that the wind blows down from the branches.”

Windfall Punch Windfall Punch
Created by St. John Frizell of New York's Fort Defiance, this fizzy, low-ABV punch channels the flavor of an autumn orchard with cider, amontillado sherry, and rum.
Yield: makes 15 cocktails
Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 13 cups simple syrup
  • 2 34 cups Amontillado sherry, preferably Lustau
  • 1 cup rum, preferably Due North
  • Angostura orange bitters, to taste
  • 5 34 cups dry hard cider, preferably Naked Flock Citra or Farnum Hill Dooryard
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 15 peels of orange, for garnish


  1. Combine sherry, rum, lemon and pineapple juices, and simple syrup in a large punch bowl.
  2. Immediately before serving, add a few generous scoops of ice, cider, and sparkling water, and garnish with orange twists.