When influential bartender Dick Bradsell made the Russian Spring Punch for the first time, he had no idea how vicious the concoction was.
According to him, at the party for which he created the cocktail, "people started falling from stairs and dancing around in wild abandon."
One reason 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, you make 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.
Ingredients for Russian Spring Punch
In 1998 Bradsell told 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 it with a slice of lemon and fresh berries.
And that's still what you need to create a Russian Spring Punch: Vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, Creme de cassis, and a bottle of bubbly.
Creme de Cassis is a slightly sour, fruity black currant liqueur that you also need to make the Kir and the Kir Royal. If you want a recommendation, I like to use Drillaud. It is excellent value for money.
The bubbly does not have to be Champagne. A good Prosecco or Cava also works. But make it a quality one. Otherwise, your drink will fall flat, and it has a reputation to live up to!
History of the Russian Spring Punch cocktail
The cocktail has its origins in London in the 1980s. The exact year remains a secret because not even his inventor remembers it.
However, according to Bradsell, it was definitely before his daughter was born in 1988.
Bradsell thought up the recipe for the drink for two of his friends. They wanted to throw a cocktail party but didn't have the funding.
Therefore, Bradsell recommended asking their guest to bring a bottle of Champagne each, and he would create a special cocktail using it.
That way, the guests would cover the lion's share of expensive ingredients themselves. And also, they would be responsible for the quality of their drink.
Bringing poor Champagne would consequently lead to a lower quality 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. Apparently, the scenery must have been epic.
Why it's called Russian Spring Punch
Bradsell also revealed how he came up with the name for the cocktail.
First, as the drink loosely builds on the principle of a classic punch, it obviously had to be named like that. -Even though omitting the weak part makes 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.
So, now that you know what to expect from this drink, get your Shaker ready and some fateful Russian Spring Punches.
- 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