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The Punch Topic

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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!

Recommendations on rum: You don't want white rum here, at least the earliest versions would have used something with some age. The recipe in Imbibe! says "St. Croix Rum" and the Cruzan Single Barrel will do quite nicely, but I imagine you could get away with any medium bodied molasses-based rum with some color on it. Flor de Cana 5 or 7 yr, Bacardi 8, Brugal Anejo, and Mt Gay Eclipse would all probably work well and are very fairly priced.

Rye: Old Overholt works a-ok here, or you could do Rittenhouse or even Sazerac. I'd steer clear of anything extremely big like Wild Turkey, there's already a fair bit of proof in this recipe.

Brandy: The recipe from Imbibe! doesn't call for any, but if yours does a VS Cognac in the $20 range should work. If you're pinching pennies, the Masson VSOP can be gotten for like $11/btl but it has some rough edges that may or may not work well in a punch. Never tried it in one.

Champagne: There's a gorgeous little French sparkler I can get locally for about $11 called Francois Montand that is structured very much like a real Champagne. Not as complex, but still quite nice and in a punch it hardly matters anyway. Gruet from New Mexico works also for a few dollars more and there's an even cheaper one, also French, called Perdrier that is like $8 and I'd probably give it a spin if pressed. If your budget can afford some Piper Heidseck, I'm sure it would be awesome.

Hope this info is of some use.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Masson VSOP works great in punch. I generally use it in Embury's Brandy Punch, and the rough edges are nowhere to be found. I'd bet that in a punch with so many other flavors, those edges would be well hidden.

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Recommendations on rum: You don't want white rum here, at least the earliest versions would have used something with some age. The recipe in Imbibe! says "St. Croix Rum" and the Cruzan Single Barrel will do quite nicely, but I imagine you could get away with any medium bodied molasses-based rum with some color on it. Flor de Cana 5 or 7 yr, Bacardi 8, Brugal Anejo, and Mt Gay Eclipse would all probably work well and are very fairly priced.

Rye: Old Overholt works a-ok here, or you could do Rittenhouse or even Sazerac. I'd steer clear of anything extremely big like Wild Turkey, there's already a fair bit of proof in this recipe.

Brandy: The recipe from Imbibe! doesn't call for any, but if yours does a VS Cognac in the $20 range should work. If you're pinching pennies, the Masson VSOP can be gotten for like $11/btl but it has some rough edges that may or may not work well in a punch. Never tried it in one.

Champagne: There's a gorgeous little French sparkler I can get locally for about $11 called Francois Montand that is structured very much like a real Champagne. Not as complex, but still quite nice and in a punch it hardly matters anyway. Gruet from New Mexico works also for a few dollars more and there's an even cheaper one, also French, called Perdrier that is like $8 and I'd probably give it a spin if pressed. If your budget can afford some Piper Heidseck, I'm sure it would be awesome.

Hope this info is of some use.

Thank you, Andy! Very useful indeed. For some reason, I completely missed your post above-- also helpful.

I looked at a variety of recipes online, many of which called for brandy and even gin.

The one from Imbibe! is probably more reputable, and the fewer ingredients I have to buy the better quality they can be-- hurrah!

I'd love to use cherries, and maybe some peaches in the punch, since they will be in season then. What to you think?

Thanks again. I will report back.


Edited by Corinna (log)

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

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

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Cherries would be good, not sure how peaches would do but don't let me stop you from trying it. NB there is already a fair amount of sugar in this one, particularly if your Catawba is as sweet as mine was, so you may want to be careful with the fruit.

I may just have a limited imagination but I can't really see what gin would add to a recipe like this.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Has anyone found any genuine peach brandy (i.e., a true distilled Eau-de-Vie as opposed to a liqueur) for use in Fish House Punch? I cannot imagine that the recipe for that punch included something like peach schnapps! Here in Northern California, there's a craft distiller called Kuchan/Old World Spirits that makes two different true peach brandies, one from O'Henry peaches and the other from Indian Blood peaches; both are bottled at 80 proof. Pretty expensive stuff even in the grappa-style 375ml bottles, but it's the only ones I've found so far. Anyone tried them, either alone or in FHP?


Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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I prefer Apricot brandy to Peach brandy in Fish House Punch. Makes for a drier, less sickly sweet end result. The Marie Brizard Apry is a good choice for that application.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Has anyone found any genuine peach brandy (i.e., a true distilled Eau-de-Vie as opposed to a liqueur) for use in Fish House Punch? I cannot imagine that the recipe for that punch included something like peach schnapps! Here in Northern California, there's a craft distiller called Kuchan/Old World Spirits that makes two different true peach brandies, one from O'Henry peaches and the other from Indian Blood peaches; both are bottled at 80 proof. Pretty expensive stuff even in the grappa-style 375ml bottles, but it's the only ones I've found so far. Anyone tried them, either alone or in FHP?

My understanding is that the spirit called for in FHP's original iteration would have been barrel-aged, not unlike Applejack, and indeed using the original preportions Laird's Bonded makes a nice substitution. A clear peach eau-de-vie, apart from being expensive, probably has too much funk and not enough fruit for this kind of thing but I could definitely be wrong about that. Dr. Wondrich recommends using, per pint of spirit, 1 oz of Peach Brandy liqueur and making up the difference with more rum and brandy. Marie Brizzard is commonly recommended but I've actually had better results with DeKuyper, believe it or not, which also has the advantage of being much easier to find. I follow the recommendation in Imbibe! but do the liquor something like 5 oz DeKuyper Peach Brandy (NOT Schnapps), 25 oz (ie, a bottle) of Cognac, 18 oz Rum (Appleton V/X works great) to a pint of lemon, a pound of sugar, and 3 qts of water. If using Marie Brizzard I cut it back to 3 oz and up the other spirits to compensate.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Another workaround is to kludge some faux peach brandy by infusing peaches (either roasted fresh or perhaps dried might give more flavor) into Laird's bonded.


--

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Another workaround is to kludge some faux peach brandy by infusing peaches (either roasted fresh or perhaps dried might give more flavor) into Laird's bonded.

How well does this work? I've always heard that peaches are notoriously stingy in what they contribute to an infusion, apart from water. Have you tried it?


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Another workaround is to kludge some faux peach brandy by infusing peaches (either roasted fresh or perhaps dried might give more flavor) into Laird's bonded.

How well does this work? I've always heard that peaches are notoriously stingy in what they contribute to an infusion, apart from water. Have you tried it?

I think it works okay. Peaches are definitely quite watery, which is one reason you want to roast them down quite a bit . . . Remove most of the water, concentrate and develop the peachy flavors. Also a good reason to use Laird's bonded, so that whatever water you do add hopefully still won't get you below 80 proof. If you start with 750 ml of Laird's bonded, you can add a bit over 6 ounces of "peach-derived liquid" and still end up at 80 proof. If you roast the peaches down, that's probably quite a few peaches you could infuse into a single bottle of Laird's before you hit 6 ounces of added liquid.

Never having tasted FHP made with the real thing, I can't even guess as to whether it's a decent fake-up. But I figure it's got to be better than using DeKuyper. Eventually I'd like to try mixing the infused Laird's with eau de vie de peche, and see where that gets me.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

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My understanding is that the spirit called for in FHP's original iteration would have been barrel-aged, not unlike Applejack, and indeed using the original preportions Laird's Bonded makes a nice substitution. A clear peach eau-de-vie, apart from being expensive, probably has too much funk and not enough fruit for this kind of thing but I could definitely be wrong about that.

I could also be wrong, but I think the Kuchan O'Henry Peach Brandy is barrel-aged; at least it looks it, with a nice amber "brandy" color. The Indian Blood Peach Brandy is a clear eau-de-vie. I now have a bottle of each, so when I get a chance I'll crack 'em open and see what's what.


Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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RE: Chatham Artillery Punch

Ok, I have acquired all the necessary ingredients and will be putting together the mixture tomorrow. I'm sure I will taste it a couple days in, but assuming that tastes good, I can use that as the base for my punch for our party on July 3rd.

One question for those of you who have made this or other similar punches before: will the fruit go bad if I put it in this far in advance, or will all that booze act as a preservative? I will be using cherries, pineapple and maybe strawberries. Would it be better to put them in a couple days before the even? Advice is appreciated. Thank you!


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

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

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RE: Chatham Artillery Punch

Ok, I have acquired all the necessary ingredients and will be putting together the mixture tomorrow. I'm sure I will taste it a couple days in, but assuming that tastes good, I can use that as the base for my punch for our party on July 3rd.

One question for those of you who have made this or other similar punches before: will the fruit go bad if I put it in this far in advance, or will all that booze act as a preservative? I will be using cherries, pineapple and maybe strawberries. Would it be better to put them in a couple days before the even? Advice is appreciated. Thank you!

For two weeks, with all that hooch in there, you'll be fine. As noted in my post upthread, I don't think the fruit floating in the finished punch contributes much of anything except getting you full; I recommend straining it out before adding your champers.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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For two weeks, with all that hooch in there, you'll be fine. As noted in my post upthread, I don't think the fruit floating in the finished punch contributes much of anything except getting you full; I recommend straining it out before adding your champers.

Thanks for the confirmation, Andy.

I did see your note about the fruit, and will probably strain out most, if not all, of the fruit before serving. I just didn't want it to contribute any off flavours to the mix. Very excited!


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

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

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Just bumping this up to give the traditional formal notice that my book on this topic, Punch: the Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, has finally been published.


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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Got mine last monday. Great read!


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Great read indeed. You've covered this before on this thread and others, but I was susprised to find no general recommendations on sparkling wines in the book apart from a recommendation to stay Brut and one recipe that says go French. Any new opinions on 'champagne' for punches resulting from research for the book?

Can't wait to try some of these out.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Just received my copy from Amazon!!!

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Great read indeed. You've covered this before on this thread and others, but I was susprised to find no general recommendations on sparkling wines in the book apart from a recommendation to stay Brut and one recipe that says go French. Any new opinions on 'champagne' for punches resulting from research for the book?

Can't wait to try some of these out.

A) Thanks!

B) Brut and French pretty much covers it. Almost all of these Punches are from a time when the only imitation champagnes were needled Jersey cider, and we don't want to go there. You obviously don't need the most distinctive champagne for Punch-making, but neither should it taste nasty. And if it's not brut, that's even more authentic, although I prefer to use the ultra-dry stuff if only to be in better control of the sugar level of the Punch.


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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I've already read through it once. So many great stories and ideas.

Now I must go forth and lay in a supply of arrack before the rush.


--

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Brut and French pretty much covers it. Almost all of these Punches are from a time when the only imitation champagnes were needled Jersey cider, and we don't want to go there. You obviously don't need the most distinctive champagne for Punch-making, but neither should it taste nasty. And if it's not brut, that's even more authentic, although I prefer to use the ultra-dry stuff if only to be in better control of the sugar level of the Punch.

I totally get the brut side of things, but I am a bit curious about the French part, given that quality sparkling wines from other regions are now readily available. Is it a matter of personal preference or is there just something about Champagne champagne that tends to work well in a punch?

ps. very jealous of all those that have gotten their copy already. mine is in the mail and I can't wait for it to arrive.


 

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Brut and French pretty much covers it. Almost all of these Punches are from a time when the only imitation champagnes were needled Jersey cider, and we don't want to go there. You obviously don't need the most distinctive champagne for Punch-making, but neither should it taste nasty. And if it's not brut, that's even more authentic, although I prefer to use the ultra-dry stuff if only to be in better control of the sugar level of the Punch.

I totally get the brut side of things, but I am a bit curious about the French part, given that quality sparkling wines from other regions are now readily available. Is it a matter of personal preference or is there just something about Champagne champagne that tends to work well in a punch?

ps. very jealous of all those that have gotten their copy already. mine is in the mail and I can't wait for it to arrive.

I definitely agree that French sparklers have a peculiar acidity balance not generally found in the wines of other countries. My own experience is that decent sparklers from other parts of France work well though with my budget it's a question of drinking it with imitations or not drinking them at all (Francois Montand is a favorite at about $11/btl). I absolutely believe the man when he recommends the Genuine Article though.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Ok, I should have written a little more there. For historical accuracy, it's French. For gastronomical use, I've substituted a lot of things over the years. Cava and prosecco, not so successful. Gruet, from New Mexico, very successful. Everything else on a bottle-by-bottle basis. Just don't let the temptation to go cheap trump the dedication to taste.


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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If you'll entertain another question...

Is the lack of mention of Anchor Genevieve to be taken as a sign of its inappropriateness as a sub for Hollands Gin in the recipes given? Blue-bottle Bols is not (yet, I hope) available in Texas, and I'm jealously hoarding the small stash of green bottle Bols I have. Genevieve I can get relatively easily. What say ye? I know it's quite a different beast...


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I say use what you've got. The Genevieve's a little less refined than the genuine Dutch article, but I'm sure plenty of gin was like that back in the day.


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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