When influential bartender Dick Bradsell created the Russian Spring Punch for the first time, he had no idea how vicious the concoction was. According to himself, at the party for which he created the cocktail, “people started falling from stairs and dancing around in wild abandon.”
One reason why the Russian Spring Punch is such a sledgehammer of a cocktail is the fact that it intentionally does not follow the principles of a punch. Because traditionally, one makes a punch according to the punch formula:
“One sweet, two sour, three strong, and four weak.”
The Russian Spring Punch does obey the first three but not the weak part. So instead of non-alcoholic ingredients like fruit juice or soda, the cocktail gets topped with Champagne.
History of the Russian Spring Punch cocktail
The cocktail has its origins in London in the 1980s. When exactly is unclear because not even his inventor remembers the exact time. According to Bradsell, it was definitely before his daughter was born, which was in 1988.
Bradsell thought of the recipe for the drink for two of his friends. They wanted to throw a cocktail party but didn’t have the budget for it. Bradsell, therefore, recommended that they ask their guest to each bring a bottle of Champagne, and he would create a special cocktail to make use of it.
That way, the guests would bring in the main part of expensive ingredients. And also, they themselves would be responsible for the quality of their drink. Bringing poor Champagne would consequently lead to a substandard cocktail.
Bradsell prepared glasses and filled each one with a mix of Vodka, lemon juice, sugar, cassis, and ice. Each person could use up the bottle they brought and as many Vodka shots as they could drink.
What happened was wild. The punch was so strong that people lost control and started dancing like crazy, fell down the stairs, and so on. The scenery must have been epic.
The reason why it’s called Russian Spring Punch
Bradsell also revealed how he came up with the name for the cocktail. First, as the drink builds on the principle of a classic punch, it obviously had to be named like that. -Even though the omitting of the weak part make this one hell of a punch.
Using Vodka as the base spirit led to the term ‘Russian’. And because the whole drink reminds of a fizz or collins drink (both are spring cocktails), Bradsell came up with the ‘Spring’ part in the name.
Ingredients for the cocktail
In 1998 Bradsell told the Class Magazine how he created the drink. Served in a collins glass, he used 50ml of Vodka, 25ml lemon juice, two teaspoons of simple syrup, and two teaspoons of cassis. He topped the cocktail with Champagne and garnished the drinks with a slice of lemon and fresh berries.
And that’s basically all you need to create a Russian Spring Punch. Vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup are essential cocktail ingredients anyway. You might need to get some Creme de cassis and also a bottle of bubbly. But remember to buy a good one, as otherwise, your drink will fall flat.
- 1.5 oz Vodka
- 0.5 oz Creme de cassis
- 0.75 oz Lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- 1.5 – 2 oz Brut Champagne
- Pour all ingredients except the Champagne into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.1.5 oz Vodka, 0.5 oz Creme de cassis, 0.75 oz Lemon juice, 0.5 oz Simple syrup
- Shake until well-chilled and strain into an ice-filled glass.
- Top up the drink with Champagne, and it's ready to be served.1.5 – 2 oz Brut Champagne