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The Punch Topic


bleudauvergne
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Good to know, brinza. I'd been thinking of doing that one for my party, but with the cost of Calvados (and complete unavailability of applejack), decided against it. Maybe one day, when I'm feeling richer...

Yeah, the only Calvados I could locate was around $35. There was just no way I was going to dump that into a punch. But even with applejack, it's not a cheap punch to make since it calls for two full bottles of booze plus all the other stuff (whole spices, honey, juices, etc.). I'd estimate the total cost to be around $40-$45 per batch (figuring $30 for the liquor).

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone!

I made a batch of Regent's Punch tonight, It was my 3rd time making RP now, and this was the best batch yet. I went shopping for citrus yesterday and as luck would have it my local market had just received a shipment of blood oranges an hour before I got there. I used two Valencia and one blood orange in the punch, and it yielded best best RP yet by far for me. When I was muddling the citrus peel & sugar the blood orange peel gave off an incredibly aromatic scent, and the juice made for a really great& flavourful punch. I'm making at least one more batch of RP during the holiday season (maybe two, possibly three, an outside chance of four...), and I'll definitely be using blood oranges in it again.

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

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Lapin, let us know how it turns out.

Well, we tried a batch, and found it...thin. Maybe our expectations were off, or the Madeira I got wasn't very good (didn't have much time for shopping around), but it just didn't seem very exciting.

Thanks for the link to the Madeira article. I'll have to keep a look out for some better brands, which I know I've seen somewhere.

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After much fiddling and wishful thinking, I finally came to the conclusion that while London Dry gin is good for a great many things, making hot drinks isn't one of them. I'd keep the madeira and try it again with a good genever.

And Craig--I'll have to try the Regent's Punch with blood oranges. They must help the color as well, no?

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Made a variation of this ginger rum punch from Rumdood's website subbing in 10 Cane, Myers's, Batavia arrack, and some Barados Plantation rum for the Mount Gay products, as well as Maine Root ginger brew for the Bundaberg and Taylor's for the Rum Dood falernum. Very nice, especially given the Chinese food with which it was served.

Now figuring out punch for the New Years Eve Eve party... leaning Fish House way....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We did Regent's Punch for Christmas morning (the Saveur recipe), and it turned out fabulously. We made a slightly different Regent's Punch recipe last year, from I think a Charles Dickens recipe collection--that was great, but we thought the Saveur version was even better and it was a huge hit as punches always seem to be. Seville oranges were at the local grocery, and we finally picked up a bottle of Batavia arrack, so all the stars were aligned. Thanks Splificator!

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After much fiddling and wishful thinking, I finally came to the conclusion that while London Dry gin is good for a great many things, making hot drinks isn't one of them. I'd keep the madeira and try it again with a good genever.

And Craig--I'll have to try the Regent's Punch with blood oranges. They must help the color as well, no?

Happy Holidays David. The blood oranges deepened the colour of the punch quite a bit, taking it from the usual greenish hue to a nice reddish hue. More of a typical 'punch colour' if you will. The exotic aromatic scent that the blood orange peels produced as they were being muddled with the demerara sugar, valencia & lemon peels was really wonderful, and provided a really unique flavour to the punch.

Incidently, we have a mutual friend, the 'Minister Of Sugar Cane Based Spirits', who has told me about the new product that he is going to be offering from Jamaica soon. I can't wait to try a Regent's Punch (along with a great many other punches & cocktails!) with his new pot stilled spirit.

BTW, might Plymouth or Old Tom gin yield a decent hot punch? I have a devil of time locating genever in these parts. How about Steinhäger??

Cheers,

Craig Hochscheid

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

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  • 2 months later...

For a good while now, Paul Clarke over at Cocktail Chronicles has been organizing a monthly online cocktail event he calls Mixology Mondays:

Mixology Monday is a monthly online cocktail party. Since launching in April 2006, Mixology Monday has attracted scores of participating bloggers and thousands of curious readers, all coming together on a monthly basis to share drink recipes and related information in a friendly online environment.

The process is quite simple: each month, a host, working with the moderator, selects a theme for the upcoming event, which is announced on various blogs and forums (including this one), and on or before the event date (a Monday — hence the name), participating bloggers join the party by posting a drink recipe or other post related to the theme. Each participant notifies the host that they’ve joined in, and soon after the event, the host posts a roundup, listing each participant.

The next MxMo takes place Monday, March 22, and Mike over at Hobson's Choice has chosen Punch as the theme:

There aren’t really any specific limitations on this month’s subject. I emailed David Wondrich to ask if he had any pearls of wisdom for us as we take on the punch challenge. This was his response: “The thing I like to keep in mind while making Punch is that it is, as the London Physician Nicholas Falck defined it in 1779, ‘an extemporary kind of wine.’ It is not, in other words, simply a large cocktail. Like wine, it should be balanced, not too pungent, not too strong, and preferably not decked out in all sorts of gaudy frippery like something participating in the retail sex trade.”

Keep in mind that we are at that time of year when there are some wonderful citrus varieties available at the market. And in the warmer climates, we are already seeing the first of the Spring berries.

Those of you who are friendly with the bartender at your favorite punch-serving watering hole, it would be great if you could get him or her to share the house recipe. If there is something your family has been serving at parties for generations, go with that. Let’s have some fun with this and see how many different recipes we can find.

I'll email everything posted here by Monday, March 22 at midnight to Mike. So, ladies and gents, get out yer bowls and cups, rub up some oleo saccharum, and party like its 1699 (or 1799, or 1899 or...).

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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OK, so I'm cheating a little.

Ever since I made this Baltimore Egg Nog for the Dizzy Dairy MxMo, I've been hung up on it and on milk punches and noggs in general. Baltimore Egg Nog, which appears in Jerry Thomas's 1862 bible, combines egg, milk, rum and/or brandy, and madeira. As the Professor puts it, "It makes an excellent drink for debilitated persons, and a nourishing diet for consumptives." As it turns out, I've been working on some menu items for a bartending gig at Cook & Brown Public House, and when I read that, I thought, "Something along these lines sounds like the perfect brunch drink to me!"

So I present the South of Medford Milk Punch:

4431033862_c124b52a31.jpg

2 oz dark rum (I've used Inner Circle Green, Chairman's Reserve, and Appleton V/X)

1 oz madeira (I'm using HM Borge reserva dolce)

3 oz milk (Rhody Fresh whole or 2%)

1/2 oz demerara 2:1 syrup

dash cinnamon tincture

Preparation: Shake hard; you want the milk to foam. Strain into glass with fresh cracked ice.

Garnish: Twist a small piece of orange peel over the surface of the drink and rub it on the rim; discard. Grate a dusting of nutmeg on the foam.

Glass: 12 oz highball or double Old Fashioned.

The name references Medford (MA, home of early American rum production) and points south to rum source St. Lucia (or Jamaica or Australia or...), Baltimore, and, of course, Our Little Town of Providence RI. I think that the double garnish works really well to lighten up the nose of an otherwise rich drink, though there should be only the barest hint of orange oil or you lose the nutmeg. On the tongue it leads with the rum and then gives way to the cinnamon and raisin-y madeira.

I tried it with Fee's OF bitters instead of the cinnamon tincture, but I think the bitter note isn't needed because of the dryish madeira finish. It's on the sweeter side, as I think our patrons will find Milk Punch more approachable that way, but it's easy to use a scant 1/2 oz of the demerara if need be.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the publication of Imbibe! of course had a profound impact on the drinking habits of a good number of the types of folks who participate in boards like this, and one place where thie impact was most radically felt was in the realm of communal drinking. I've been eagerly awaiting Dr. Wondrich's sequel on punches...in the meantime I figured this would be a good opportunity to try what I think are the last two recipes from Imbibe!'s chapter on Punches, but first I had to locate something that was not easy to find:

DSC00513.JPG

On the right you see a bottle of authentic Catawba wine, brought from Illinois by a friend and regular who travels there regularly to visit family. I admit that as a wine I didn't expect much from it though I was surprised at how decent it was, probably about as good as one could expect from a grape like that. Watermelon candy, overripe canteloupe, interesting midpalate, ok finish...quite sweet though--half a glass is plenty, and makes clear why it is recommended as an ingredient in mixed beverages. What kind of mixed beverages? Why punch of course:

DSC00518.JPG

National Guard 7th Regiment Punch

as per Imbibe!

2 tsp sugar (caster)

1/2 lemon

wineglass of Brandy (2 oz Hardy VS)

wineglass of Catawba (2 oz)

generous tsp 1883 raspberry syrup

Shaken well with glass of crushed ice and poured back into glass, float of Smith & Cross rum, fruit, straw, porch.

Having not had any JT Punches in many months, this was a great wa to enjoy the nice weather we've (mostly) been having in this part of TX lately. The watermelon character of the wine is really accentuated, funny to me how "girly" some of those old drinks would be deemed if they were created today, this one named for a military unit no less!

Ok but what if I want to have people over? I don't want to make a half-dozen of those...

DSC00520.JPG

Chatham Artillery Punch

Ok so this one took some interpretation. First, the amount the recipe makes as written is huge, well over 2 gallons without an ice block. I had two bottles of the wine so I quartered the recipe, resulting in a manageable quantity. Second, the recipe offered requires some modifications which I took a few further liberties with. Here's more or less what I came up with:

1 qt Catawba

1 cup St. Croix Rum (Cruzan Single Barrel)

1 cup rye (Old Overholt)

1/2 a pineapple in chunks (incidentally one of the best pineapples I've ever had)

1 lb (or whatever that standard box holds) of strawberries, hulled and diced.

1 cup strong green tea

1 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

Cut up all the fruit, muddle the peel of a few lemons with the sugar, and add the tea while hot to dissolve the sugar. Add booze, wine, fruit, and lemon juice. This is then supposed to be aged for at least two days, which I cut awfully close. Then when ready to serve pour into punchbowl with an ice block, add some orange slices and a bottle of Champagne, or in my case "champagne" (Francois Montand Blanc de Blancs, pictured above, works awesome for this kind of thing for $10).

Few observations: one, if I were to have occasion to make this again, I would definitely strain all or most of the fruit out before serving. The strawberries, which were good but not particularly noteworthy, had given up most of their flavor even after 2 days (really about 41 hours). Also, since there is a fairly high ratio of fruit to liquid, you end up trying to eat a lot of fruit while drinking, which for my part resulted in premature fullness. Second, I think this kind of thing really does need more time sitting around getting happy and infusing before being drank.

Verdict? I don't know...this Catawba stuff isn't cheap for what it is, something like $13/btl...but it isn't radically expensive by any means. If you are in to wine and punch and the effort involved isn't too great, its a fun novelty and well worth trying. As far as which recipe is better...I have to say that as I made them, definitely the 7th Reg't Punch--and far less effort. The big lesson for me though is that while Catawba has perhaps justifiably fallen by the wayside, its greatest value is probably as an ingredient in a mixed drink. The last few ounces I have saved to try a Catawba Cobbler later this week, which I actually think should be pretty tasty.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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  • 2 weeks later...

Trying to get some advice on ratios for a punch I'd like to make today. We're at some friends' beach house and brought a few things with us, but there's not a lot of flexibility in ingredients. Here's what I'd like to do. I have Monin ginger syrup and Monin pomegranate syrup, and Bacardi 8 rum. I figure maybe a little ginger syrup, a larger amount of pomegranate syrup, some rum and maybe...orange juice? Would that be a good one? I can get orange juice or something like it at the local grocery store, but please don't suggest anything like Falernum.

So it's:

Monin ginger syrup

Monin pomegranate syrup

Bacardi 8 rum

Some kind of citrus juice available from a normal grocery store

Served over ice

Suggested ratios? Does it also need some lemon or lime juice? I realize I'll need to adjust the final blend based on taste but I just don't even know where to start. Trying to make enough for 10 cocktails, by the way.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I would probably start with something like this:

12 oz rum (or more to taste)

8 oz lemon or lime (or combo)

4-8 oz syrups in combo of your preference

fruit slices, mint, etc

several generous dashes Angostura if you can get it

Pour in pitcher and fill with crushed ice, swizzle well til frost forms on outside of pitcher and/or let it sit for, say, 20-30 min (you want at least a third of the ice to have melted before you start serving. Pour into cups and kick back.

You can make two pitchers like that and mix it up a bit with the flavorings if you want. A few words of advice: lime and rum is justifiably classic but can be ponderous if used in large quantity or if a relatively sweeter drink is desired (more on that in a minute). I am actually prone to using rum and lemon in punches for the brighter flavor but this is a matter of taste. You could go with 3 oz lime and 5 of lemon or something like that as a compromise if you wanted to. As far as sweetness goes, that may look like an inordinate amount of sugar, and for a cocktail I would agree with you. However in a punch, where significant dilution is going to occur (which is a good thing) more sweetness is needed to compensate and ensure that the flavors will come through. To compensate for the higher saturation and more agressive flavor of the Monin syrups, plain old 1:1 simple could stand in for some of the syrup if using all Monin is too intense. I would say 4 oz is below the desireable level of sweetness you want but again this is a matter of taste. You can of course always add more...I suspect at least 6 oz is where you would want to end up. If you find you have made it too sweet, don't add more citrus without also adding more rum to help stretch the flavor. If you want to add OJ, only use the not-from-concentrate stuff (or squeeze it yourself, preferably) and add maybe half as much as the combined citrus/syrup amount at most.

This is not the only way to go about it of course, others may have ideas as well. But it will produce something enjoyable with a minimum of fuss. Cheers.

edit: spelling and clarification

Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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That sounds like a great plan. I was hoping to pour over ice to order, because guests will arrive over a period of time. Can I get away with refrigerating the mix and pouring over crushed ice?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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First, I would go with lemon juice rather than orange; I don't think orange is acidic enough to balance the syrups. Second, I usually start with equal parts of the sweet and sour elements and adjust from there. So for this drink, I would start with 2 oz. rum, 1/4 oz. each of the syrups and 1/2 oz. of lemon juice (per drink).

If you're set on using orange juice, add lemon juice as well for balance -- maybe start with 1/4 oz. each of lemon and orange.

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It's not that I'm committed to orange. It's mostly that I don't want to hand-squeeze a villion lemons with no proper equipment. Orange juice is available in good-quality permutations in regular stores. Lemons are both a ripoff and hard to do in bulk with your bare hands. But I guess I should just suck it up...

P.S. I'm also making two other cocktails: a 3-2-1 cocktail with bourbon, triple sec and lemon juice; and a gimlet with gin, lime cordial, fresh lime, and simple syrup. So that's also a lot of citrus work. Sheesh.

I also have most of a bottle of Regan's orange bitters with me, so maybe that will go either in the punch or the gimlet.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That sounds like a great plan. I was hoping to pour over ice to order, because guests will arrive over a period of time. Can I get away with refrigerating the mix and pouring over crushed ice?

If you are going to pour it over crushed ice to serve, I would avoid refrigerating it as it will then not give the ice melt dilution you need. If you are making it so far in advance that perishability is an issue then add some water, maybe 2 cups, to the recipe above and then refrigerate it to pour over ice later.

As far as lemons being a pain, I feel for you but the good news is that you can make many more servings of punch per lemon squeezed than you can cocktails, generally speaking.

When entertaining, I typically do cocktails or punch, never both...they compete with each other and leftover punch presents a challenge of sorts. ymmv and all that.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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The final mix came out at:

24 oz rum

6 oz pomegranate syrup

2 oz ginger syrup

8 oz lemon juice

8 oz sparkling water

10 dashes bitters

Lemons turned out to be on sale at the nearby Lowes for $1.99 for a 1-pound bag (containing 8 small lemons), so I bought two bags of them. I wound up buying a cheap plastic juicer there for $2.19. It wasn't a terribly effective unit but it was significantly better than nothing.

I made the mix and left it in a jar at room temperature. The refrigerator here produces crushed ice through the in-door ice maker/water dispenser so as guests arrived I just filled rocks glasses with crushed ice and poured the mix over them. Garnished with an orange slice.

I thought it came out well. It was well received, at least. We had 6 drinking adults, some had seconds and it was all consumed before dinner.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The ginger syrup is surprisingly powerful. I was surprised how little of it was needed to give a ginger taste to the whole volume of liquid. I was prepared to add a lot more (I have nearly a liter of it on hand that will probably be abandoned at the beach) but didn't need to. The pomegranate syrup was more generically sweet and red. Not nearly the same quality of pomegranate flavor as Pom. There seemed to be no point to adding more.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 2 months later...

I'm preparing a batch of Chatham Artillery Punch for our July 3rd party, and finding the tips in this thread very useful. I wish I had gotten an earlier start!

Have you made this before? What brands did you use and how did it work out?Catawba wine is local specialty, so there is no worry about that. I would be grateful, however, for recommendations for good values for in the white rum, rye whisky and brandy. I have some ideas for the bubbly, but would also appreciate input on this.

An open invitation, should you find yourself in central New York on the day. Message me for details.

Thank you!

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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