Smile Politely

This cocktail at Punch! Bar is crazy good

A light brown cocktail on the bar at Punch! in Downtown Champaign, Illinois. Photo by Alyssa Buckley
Alyssa Buckley

Made with chamomile liqueur, amaro, and a very special bourbon, this brand new (unnamed) Punch! Bar cocktail ($14) tasted so good. Notes of caramel and rich vanilla in the bourbon played really well with the floral chamomile. Poured tableside, the glass had a dramatic billow of cedar smoke that added a delicious, smoldering aroma to each sip.

The key to this crazy good cocktail is the bourbon, which comes from a barrel picked as a collaboration of three Downtown Champaign restaurants: Punch! Bar, Watson’s Shack & Rail, and Big Grove Tavern. The Downtown Unity Barrel trio’s barrel pick is a 6-year, 108 proof high rye Huling Station bourbon by Old Dominick Distillery.

All three Downtown Champaign bars are stocked with bottles of the Downtown Unity barrel pick, and all three are each offering their own unique cocktail with the special bourbon.

Punch! Bar & Lounge
217 N Neil Street
Su-Th 4 to 10 p.m.
F+Sa 4 p.m. to midnight

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