Kwame Wallace created this deeply flavored drink for Juneteenth, picking the name “A More Perfect Punch” as a nod to the idea that celebrating Black independence as a national holiday is a small step towards becoming a more perfect union.

The base of the drink is a homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup combined with hibiscus tea, ginger beer and lemon juice. Mixed with bourbon, poured over ice, and topped with sparkling wine, it’s a winning combination. As it happens, the base mixed with sparkling water is also a sensational non-alcoholic cocktail.

Serve 4 to 6

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

  • 1 ½ cups fresh strawberries (hulled, and halved)
  • ¾ cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 ½ cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup water


For the cocktail

  • 8 ounces Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup
  • 6 ounces bourbon (Black owned or Texas made preferred)
  • 3 ounces hibiscus tea (infuse 3 tea bags in 6 ounces water for 8 min)•
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 3 strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 6 pieces of chopped rhubarb
  • 9 ounces sparkling wine
  • 4 basil leaves


Make the syrup

1. Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook at a gentle simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow the mixture to cool and strain it through a mesh strainer.  


Make the cocktail

1. Combine 8 ounces of the syrup, the bourbon, the 3 ounces tea, the ginger beer, the lemon juice, the berries, and the rhubarb in a jar or pitcher. (Alternatively, combine everything but the berries and rhubarb and use for garnish.)

2. Serve in a high ball or old fashioned glass with ice, topped with sparkling wine and garnished with the basil and fruit. Optional: Stir in a tablespoon of syrup for color or taste if needed.  


Kwame K. Wallace has been creating and mixing cocktails since his first bartending job at Atria over 15 years ago. His latest focus is storytelling in a glass, mixing his love of history and spirits to create signature cocktails and cultivating a deeper experience and connection to the history of distilled artistry.


• Note: If you can't find hibiscus tea, look at the ingredient lists for other red berry teas - hibiscus is often the first or second ingredient.