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bleudauvergne

The Punch Topic

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a Demerara simple syrup to bring that molasses flavor to the party

how much? start small and add to taste?

i assume in place of the confectioners(from the F&W recipe)..?

and would i then still need the water, i would guess no...?

scott

Water is a crucial element to punch, The most successful punches in a bowl I've made have had a final abv in the finished product of between 12% and 15%, so I think it's a good idea to get the pocket calculator out and figure out how much water to add. Not enough dilution and it's definitely going to have an interesting (and not necessarily desireable) effect on the party. The rules for punch are different than the rules for cocktails.

if i use simple syrup (deremera) in place of the confectioners, do i count that water in the calculation?

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a Demerara simple syrup to bring that molasses flavor to the party

how much? start small and add to taste?

i assume in place of the confectioners(from the F&W recipe)..?

and would i then still need the water, i would guess no...?

scott

Water is a crucial element to punch, The most successful punches in a bowl I've made have had a final abv in the finished product of between 12% and 15%, so I think it's a good idea to get the pocket calculator out and figure out how much water to add. Not enough dilution and it's definitely going to have an interesting (and not necessarily desireable) effect on the party. The rules for punch are different than the rules for cocktails.

if i use simple syrup (deremera) in place of the confectioners, do i count that water in the calculation?

You can, though you're really going for a total volume thing. For the record, an ounce of 1:1 syrup contains about 2/3 oz of water, 2:1 syrup about 1/2 oz per oz of syrup.

If you're making an actual bowl-sized recipe, many old punch recipes call for the infusion of the sugar with some lemon peel oils, nowadays accomplished by peeling some of the lemons (minimize the amount of white part) and muddling them with the sugar. If you're starting with syrup you already have on hand of course you would probably have to skip this step.

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a Demerara simple syrup to bring that molasses flavor to the party

how much? start small and add to taste?

i assume in place of the confectioners(from the F&W recipe)..?

and would i then still need the water, i would guess no...?

scott

Water is a crucial element to punch, The most successful punches in a bowl I've made have had a final abv in the finished product of between 12% and 15%, so I think it's a good idea to get the pocket calculator out and figure out how much water to add. Not enough dilution and it's definitely going to have an interesting (and not necessarily desireable) effect on the party. The rules for punch are different than the rules for cocktails.

if i use simple syrup (deremera) in place of the confectioners, do i count that water in the calculation?

You can, though you're really going for a total volume thing. For the record, an ounce of 1:1 syrup contains about 2/3 oz of water, 2:1 syrup about 1/2 oz per oz of syrup.

If you're making an actual bowl-sized recipe, many old punch recipes call for the infusion of the sugar with some lemon peel oils, nowadays accomplished by peeling some of the lemons (minimize the amount of white part) and muddling them with the sugar. If you're starting with syrup you already have on hand of course you would probably have to skip this step.

this sounds all great..love learning this stuff...

unfortunately i ran out of time in prep'ing for this stuff, so i had to use what i had on hand, which meant following the magazine's recipe..(i am the worst procrastinator)

I mad two versions, one with some OJ (fresh squeezed of course) with some lemon, and the other one, the other way 'round (taking ms loeb's suggestion above) i also made one with the sailor jerry despite someones mild protest...and one with gosling's 80...i had to add a bit more water than called for for both as they were both too hot at base recipe...

both are great..the gosling's is sharper and more tart (as it had more lemon) and the SJ was tame and a bit sweeter...even with my sampling it hit me a bit...

should be a good bbq..hope the guest appreciate it

I would like to in the future make this with the demerera syrup as i can sense exactly what it would bring to the party, and that level of taste is missing on the F&W recipe

thanks again for the suggestions

shany

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Hope the party goes well, punch always helps. Just so you know, the mild protest was from Mr. Dave Wondrich, aka Splificator, probably the world's foremost expert on old-school drinking. His latest book, Imbibe! brought about a renewed interests in things like Punch and his next book is supposedly going to focus exclusively on Punch. If you haven't gotten a copy of his book (any of them, really), it is a must-have. His opinion on any drink recipe, particularly any recipe older than c. 1900, is not to be taken lightly.

That said I would imagine Sailor Jerry's makes an acceptable variation on Fish House Punch, though perhaps lacking somewhat in the richness of texture that comes from Jamaican-styled rums.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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Hope the party goes well, punch always helps. Just so you know, the mild protest was from Mr. Dave Wondrich, aka Splificator, probably the world's foremost expert on old-school drinking. His latest book, Imbibe! brought about a renewed interests in things like Punch and his next book is supposedly going to focus exclusively on Punch. If you haven't gotten a copy of his book (any of them, really), it is a must-have. His opinion on any drink recipe, particularly any recipe older than c. 1900, is not to be taken lightly.

That said I would imagine Sailor Jerry's makes an acceptable variation on Fish House Punch, though perhaps lacking somewhat in the richness of texture that comes from Jamaican-styled rums.

point well taken...i agree that BOTh variiations lack "richness" and a little mouth feel is missing as well...i think that the Gosling's is least lacking in both categories, and will play with this recipe over the summer months, i hope...and try different rums and different sugars...etc

i am hoping that my guests don't find both to be "too much" for their tastes...i hope not...of course..they are old school cocktail newbies...

shanty

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i am hoping  that my guests don't find both to be "too much" for their tastes...i hope not...of course..they are old school cocktail newbies...

shanty

In my experience, some people who are used to drinking vodka-ish things may be shocked initially at the amount of pure flavor in a drink like this, they are likely to describe it as "strong" in which they don't distinguish strong flavors from alcoholic potency. Usually I find if you can convince someone to tough out one cup of punch, by the end of it they want more. The nice thing about punches is that when made properly they have all the flavor of dark spirits with very little of the 'bite' that one often associates with them, making it a good gateway for neophytes. Next step is a Sidecar, before long they are hooked on Manhattans.

Oh well a boy can dream, can't he?

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i am hoping  that my guests don't find both to be "too much" for their tastes...i hope not...of course..they are old school cocktail newbies...

shanty

In my experience, some people who are used to drinking vodka-ish things may be shocked initially at the amount of pure flavor in a drink like this, they are likely to describe it as "strong" in which they don't distinguish strong flavors from alcoholic potency. Usually I find if you can convince someone to tough out one cup of punch, by the end of it they want more. The nice thing about punches is that when made properly they have all the flavor of dark spirits with very little of the 'bite' that one often associates with them, making it a good gateway for neophytes. Next step is a Sidecar, before long they are hooked on Manhattans.

Oh well a boy can dream, can't he?

well, I am home from the gathering, thanking myself for stopping the imbibing early enough, as i had to drive through a DUI stop (sober of couse as my wife and daughter were in the car)...

but the Philly fish House Punch(es) i made were a HUGE hit...everyone loved them, and loved both of them for different reasons...I am hoping that i will be able to have them over for sidecars before too long...

they loved hearing some of the history behind this and were not aware of the growing "old school" cocktail scene and wonder if i have sparked some interest..(???)(see, we are stuck in the rural 'burbs of CT here)

both couples want the formulas...! a good time was had by all...

I look forward to my next punch adventure

shanty

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but the Philly fish House Punch(es) i made were a HUGE hit

...

I look forward to my next punch adventure

shanty

Glad to hear it all went so well! Fish House Punch is hard to beat. If you can locate Batavia Arrack and Seville oranges, Regent's Punch is perhaps the best contender. Unfortunately those are both relatively scarce ingredients. Still worth trying with substitutions.

If you're interested in learning more about punch, definitely recommend you pick up a copy of the aforementioned Imbibe!, it'll have you clamoring for more (which is on the way).

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but the Philly fish House Punch(es) i made were a HUGE hit

...

I look forward to my next punch adventure

shanty

Glad to hear it all went so well! Fish House Punch is hard to beat. If you can locate Batavia Arrack and Seville oranges, Regent's Punch is perhaps the best contender. Unfortunately those are both relatively scarce ingredients. Still worth trying with substitutions.

If you're interested in learning more about punch, definitely recommend you pick up a copy of the aforementioned Imbibe!, it'll have you clamoring for more (which is on the way).

imbibe! is in my wish list cart on Amazon, will order soon...

Batavia Arrak is available and relatively common around my parts (not sure why in particular, but have seen it almost anywhere)..but Seville oranges, not so much...tho..supposedly there is a market in the town where i am moving that will order ANYTHING you need..so when i move this summer...a batch of regents will be made!

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So my best friend since 6th grade is getting married next weekend and one of the other guys and I are naturally providing punch. Fish House Punch is almost de rigeur for parties around here by now, but I also like to try new ones and it just so happens that I have on hand all the ingredients for the Savannah Artillery Punch from Imbibe! (subbing some mild but funky Aussie rose for the Catawba). The question comes from the admonition that the "stock" for that punch should be aged...the question is how long? The recipe recommends two days at minimum but I was thinking of making it perhaps tomorrow to sit a whole week, refrigerated of course. My only concerns were a) fruit solids in the stock making it go 'off', and b) the lemon juice losing its acidity in the intervening week.

Does anyone have experience with aging punch like this? I know Mr. Kinsey has mentioned in passing several times that his family ages Fish House Punch for a long time (a year?). Is this with the lemon juice already included? What effect does this have on the acidity/balance? When I've done FHP in batches for parties or caterings I've always mixed everything a few days ahead except for the lemon juice and part of the water, juicing the lemons the day of.

I'm sure it'll be pretty good either way, I'm just looking for some insight here. Thanks in advance.

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So my best friend since 6th grade is getting married next weekend and one of the other guys and I are naturally providing punch. Fish House Punch is almost de rigeur for parties around here by now, but I also like to try new ones and it just so happens that I have on hand all the ingredients for the Savannah Artillery Punch from Imbibe! (subbing some mild but funky Aussie rose for the Catawba). The question comes from the admonition that the "stock" for that punch should be aged...the question is how long? The recipe recommends two days at minimum but I was thinking of making it perhaps tomorrow to sit a whole week, refrigerated of course. My only concerns were a) fruit solids in the stock making it go 'off', and b) the lemon juice losing its acidity in the intervening week.

Does anyone have experience with aging punch like this? I know Mr. Kinsey has mentioned in passing several times that his family ages Fish House Punch for a long time (a year?). Is this with the lemon juice already included? What effect does this have on the acidity/balance? When I've done FHP in batches for parties or caterings I've always mixed everything a few days ahead except for the lemon juice and part of the water, juicing the lemons the day of.

I'm sure it'll be pretty good either way, I'm just looking for some insight here. Thanks in advance.

You'll definitely have to strain out the lemon solids, which will turn a most unappetizing brown precipitate. You will, however, need a very large strainer for this. A good use for those high thread-count sheets you find just to fancy to sleep on.

And yes, the acidity declines as well, but in exchange you get a mellow richness that's pretty fine.

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So my best friend since 6th grade is getting married next weekend and one of the other guys and I are naturally providing punch. Fish House Punch is almost de rigeur for parties around here by now, but I also like to try new ones and it just so happens that I have on hand all the ingredients for the Savannah Artillery Punch from Imbibe! (subbing some mild but funky Aussie rose for the Catawba). The question comes from the admonition that the "stock" for that punch should be aged...the question is how long? The recipe recommends two days at minimum but I was thinking of making it perhaps tomorrow to sit a whole week, refrigerated of course. My only concerns were a) fruit solids in the stock making it go 'off', and b) the lemon juice losing its acidity in the intervening week.

Does anyone have experience with aging punch like this? I know Mr. Kinsey has mentioned in passing several times that his family ages Fish House Punch for a long time (a year?). Is this with the lemon juice already included? What effect does this have on the acidity/balance? When I've done FHP in batches for parties or caterings I've always mixed everything a few days ahead except for the lemon juice and part of the water, juicing the lemons the day of.

I'm sure it'll be pretty good either way, I'm just looking for some insight here. Thanks in advance.

You'll definitely have to strain out the lemon solids, which will turn a most unappetizing brown precipitate. You will, however, need a very large strainer for this. A good use for those high thread-count sheets you find just to fancy to sleep on.

And yes, the acidity declines as well, but in exchange you get a mellow richness that's pretty fine.

I've made two batches of Chatham now, and I generally institute a 3 month no-opening rule, which unfortunately does not conform to your purposes here. I also age it at room temp, albeit in a cool, dark place, lemon juice and all; no one's ever gotten sick off it (well, at least not for that reason).

Naturally, Prof. Wondrich is quite correct about the brownish lemon gunk. My only advice is to strain out as much pulp-mess as possible as you make it; you'll still have to re-strain later, but it makes the job a little easier.

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Thanks for the insight gentlemen, I think I'll make the stuff tomorrow but it's nice to know that if for some reason this punch doesnt get consumed (long story but the schedule isn't even set in soap yet) then the stock will still be useful. I sort of intend to make a compromise/inclusive recipe, using both the liquor and fruit from some maraschino cherries I made a while back, as well as both the rye and strawberries. Together with lemon pulp and pineapple chunks, thats a lot of fruit solids--presumably not all of it is supposed to be strained out(?)

I doubt there is a residence in Texas that has a room cool enough to age punch in in August but I am glad to finally have a use for those sheets. And of course it's always a blast to try new kinds of punch... I've already got a wine here to use but I'm curious if anyone has found any source for authentic catawba, or failing that if there is any specific wine that works better than others. Just for future reference.

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I sort of intend to make a compromise/inclusive recipe, using both the liquor and fruit from some maraschino cherries I made a while back, as well as both the rye and strawberries. Together with lemon pulp and pineapple chunks, thats a lot of fruit solids--presumably not all of it is supposed to be strained out(?)

... I've already got a wine here to use but I'm curious if anyone has found any source for authentic catawba, or failing that if there is any specific wine that works better than others. Just for future reference.

This is likely not the most authentic method, and Prof. Wondrich can correct it as he deigns, but what I did on my current batch was to add pineapple juice to the stock, then serve with pineapple chunks (plus cherries and orange slices). For the strawberries, I bought a quart, halved them, and macerated in the stock for 3-4 days before straining out. So the only solids I have in my stock are the lemon pulp-mess. Looking back, I probably should have macerated pineapple chunks alongside the strawberries, and eschewed the juice.

The New York mega-producer Taylor has a line of "Pink Catawba" that it generally seems to sell in magnums. I've seen it some in Florida, so perhaps your local wine/liquor store can order it? I'm not expecting anything from Taylor to be the best of its type, but at this point merely obtaining the varietal itself seems to be the primary objective.

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Yeah I knew Taylor made a Catawba but I've never seen it for sale around these parts so I made do with a Yalumba Rose of Cabernet found on sale for $5/bottle. It's highly unexciting on it's own but seemed to work well so far in the punch...here's what I whipped up today, sort of taking the opportunity to make a hybrid recipe and use up some homemade stuff lying around. Quantities are halved from the original.

1 cup Turbinado sugar muddled with lemon peel (more than called for but I'm under the impression that Catawba would have more rs than the rose I used)

1 heaping tbs Apricot Green Tea steeped in a cup of water, used to dissolve the sugar.

2 quarts Yalumba Rose of Cabernet

2 cups Old Overholt (wanted to keep the wattage relatively modest)

4 oz Brugal Anejo

12 oz Mount Gay Eclipse (these stand in for "St. Croix Rum")

Juice of 14.5 lemons (about a pint of juice)

1 whole pineapple cut in chunks

little less than a pound of strawberries cored and diced

about a cup and a half of homemade maraschino cherries and their syrup

All of this nearly fills two huge gallon-sized jars. It is currently resting in the fridge...once the time comes this will probably fill my largest (12 qt) bowl all the way to the top, with ice block. Have two bottles of the excellent Francois Montand sparkler reserved for punch duty.

This stuff looks to be a serious crowd pleaser...and I'm very glad to have halved the recipe. More reports after this weekend.

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Some conversation the other night with Mr. Erick Castro regarding Punch. He manages the bar at Rickhouse in San Francisco, where punch has been big business.

Interestingly, at Rick House, they make most of their punches a la minute.

They have a few recipes with the amounts nailed down for groups and just go at it with a big measuring cup.

In addition to the fun for the customers of sharing a punch bowl with a group of friends, this enables Rick House to make drinks for 5-8 guests in only slightly more time than it would take to make a couple cocktails.

Mr. Daniel Hyatt and I have also had some luck serving punches for the last 3 or 4 Savoy Cocktail Book night at Alembic. Having a prepared punch on hand takes some of the pressure off of us on these nights where we have to look up nearly every cocktail we make. We've also found some continuing interest in punch bowls for groups, which we usually make a la minute. Fish House is an easy one which I've done and Daniel has done others.

Have you, or establishments in your city, been experimenting with Punch? I'd be curious to know how wide spread a phenomenon it is.

It will be interesting to see if this interest in punch continues or if is just a fad of the moment.


Edited by eje (log)

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I have a feeling that a forthcoming book from our favorite bearded drinks writer will propel the nascent interest in punches into orbit. I mean who was drinking Improved Cock-tails two years ago? Exactly.

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Have you, or establishments in your city, been experimenting with Punch? I'd be curious to know how wide spread a phenomenon it is.

It will be interesting to see if this interest in punch continues or if is just a fad of the moment.

The Violet Hour has had a couple punches on each menu for maybe the last year or so...they are composed a la minute, but some ingredients such as tea concentrates are necessarily done ahead of time. I believe they are a great option for larger parties, especially as a first drink of the night, as otherwise it could take some time for everyone to get their cocktail.

Blu at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee is apparently doing punches as of yesterday.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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Howdy - first post on the beverage board. So, I'm thinking that a punch of hibiscus tea, star anise, maybe coriander, rum/brandy and/or arrack, orance slices + zest, pear garnich would be tasty. What say ye?

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Ian:

That sounds good, although when you say coriander, in what form do you mean? I think the Arrack will bring enough spice to the party, and perhaps not a flavor that ought to be messed about with. The hibiscus tea should make for a lovely color in the glass as well.

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I was thinking coriander seeds. This will be my first time trying arrack - at your suggestion I'll leave the coriander out of the first test batch. I'm tempted to leave the star anise in though, it seems like it would go with the hibiscus really well.

Maybe I'll add a bit of lemon too. Does that sound puncy? (I am a punch novice -- really I'm just trying to tweak the "spice, sweet, weak, strong and sour" that are referenced in the famous punch poem)

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I think Katie's right: Batavia arrack is best untinkered-with as you're getting going with punches. I'm tweaking the Wondrich's Mississippi Punch base for a cocktail class I'm teaching on Monday but I'm keeping it relatively simple:

15 oz cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)

15 oz Jamaican rum (subbing in a 1986 Plantation Barbados estate rum I'm lucky to have)

5 oz Batavia arrack van Oosten

4 oz lemon

3 oz demerara sugar (about 6 T)

Peel skin off 2 lemons in strips, avoiding pith, and muddle them with the sugar in a punch bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Slide in a large piece of ice and stir occasionally until the punch has reached the proper dilution (depending on environment, bowl size, ice mass and temperature, that takes about 30-60 minutes in my experience). Serve with a bit of nutmeg grated on the top.

Yes, I know that the Jamaica rum is more funky than the Plantation Barbados, but given the group I have I'd rather use the 90 proof Barbados and bring the arrack forward a bit more. (Wondrich's original ratio, from Jerry Thomas, is 2:1 cognac to rum, btw.) The nutmeg is primarily a wee aromatic touch; I'd think that something powerful like star anise or hibiscus would overpower some elements and clash with others. To that end, I think that a pear garnish is tricky. To work, it'd have to be a pretty fragrant pear....

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I was thinking coriander seeds. This will be my first time trying arrack - at your suggestion I'll leave the coriander out of the first test batch. I'm tempted to leave the star anise in though, it seems like it would go with the hibiscus really well.

Maybe I'll add a bit of lemon too. Does that sound puncy? (I am a punch novice -- really I'm just trying to tweak the "spice, sweet, weak, strong and sour" that are referenced in the famous punch poem)

Lemon, or citrus of some kind, anyway, would be a defining ingredient of punch as it was originally understood.

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1023091626-01.jpg

Thanks for the comments. Saw this at my local grocer. Anyone know if it's any good, and if it's the type used for punch? $20.99. Thanks!

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1023091626-01.jpg

Thanks for the comments. Saw this at my local grocer. Anyone know if it's any good, and if it's the type used for punch? $20.99. Thanks!

Unfortunately that is not at all the kind of "Arrack" (note the spelling difference) you want for punch. The stuff in the photo is an anise-flavored liqueur that falls into the same spectrum as Ouzo and Pastis. The Arrack used for punch is a type of very funky rum from Indonesia, aka 'Batavia Arrack' (Batavia is the old name for Java). Van Oosten is the brand available in the States. Though the names are related (both come from the Arabic word for 'sweat'--as in the product of a still) the flavors most definitely are not.

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