Gather 'round the punch bowl at these Columbus spots
We all know family style dining: passing platters heavy with massive portions and giant serving spoons. But family-style drinking? The idea of a shared libation like a pitcher of margaritas or giant bowl of punch has appeal, and more and more restaurants are adding communal drinks to their menus. The beverages can be lavish concoctions with high-end alcohols and fresh fruit or simple mixtures that involve dumping a bottle of booze into a bowl of juice. Regardless, the tradition of gathering around the punch bowl for great conversation and good company isn't a lost art. Here are six spots serving family-style drinks.
1455 W. Third Ave., Grandview, 614-725-1077
Name: Willy's Weekender
The renovated Grandview Café knows how to throw a party where everyone's invited. Guests looking for a fun communal drink can order Willy's Weekender, a concoction blending Champagne and rum with fruit juices and fresh lemon. It's served on dry ice and arrives to the table smoking from a suitcase. The café offers two choices of libations, the combination of Wycliff Sparkling Wine and a house rum ($35) or a mix of Moët & Chandon Champagne and Captain Morgan ($85).
Grass Skirt Tiki Room
105 N. Grant Ave., Downtown, 614-429-3650
Name: Sneaky Tiki
Don your Hawaiian skirt, order some Spam and get ready for a luau. Grass Skirt, an island oasis in the middle of Downtown, offers four different large-format drinks that feature everything from rum to sangria to sparkling wine. There's nothing sneaky about the “deliciously deadly” (according to the menu) Sneaky Tiki, with its blend of melon, pineapple and overproof rum, bottled at more than 100 proof.
1230 Courtland Ave., Short North, 614-947-1231
Name: Sweet Heat Punch
Under the guidance of chef Avishar Barua, Service Bar has wowed Columbus diners with delightful takes on classic comfort foods, and the bar service hasn't lagged behind. One of the restaurant's communal libations, Sweet Heat Punch, walks the line between herbal and citrusy, refreshing and spicy. It blends Middle West Spirits' signature OYO Vodka with Green Chartreuse, limoncello, lemon, cucumber, mint, jalapeño and soda.
Forno Kitchen + Bar
721 N. High St., Short North, 614-469-0053
Name: Punch Bowl
Forno's sweet and fruity punch bowl mixes fresh fruits and juices with Belvedere Unfiltered vodka. The giant libation is served with theatrical flare, as it's spiked tableside with a bottle of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine.
The Guild House
624 N. High St., Short North, 614-280-9780
Name: Cocktail for Two
A romantic dinner for two at this Cameron Mitchell establishment can be made even more endearing with its Cocktail for Two. The Guild House puts as much thought into the presentation of its cocktail as the recipe. This shareable beverage is decanted directly from a glass-sided Porthole infuser, so guests can see their cocktail marinating with seasonal ingredients like limes, oranges, cinnamon sticks, peppers and everything in between.
Short North Food Hall
1112 N. High St., Short North, 614-965-0518
Name: Punch Bowl
“Probably share this” advises the Short North Food Hall menu. The sweet and floral punch spikes raspberry, fresh lemon and flower tea with five shots of Belvedere Citrus vodka. The colorful concoction is offered by the food hall's bar program, the imbibing station of the food court that hosts five local stalls serving meatballs, pizza, sushi, ramen and fried chicken.