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  • 2 weeks later...

Just saw this. Shockingly, I'm NOT serving Punch at Thanksgiving. I've had a good deal of the stuff lately, and am not feeling deprived. But I've got a big bowl of Century Club Punch looming, and soon after that it'll be time for Feuerzangenbowle again. Arrack + sugar + tongs + fire = fun.

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 got the Punch book on my Kindle after it was recommended on one of the Kindle forums.

I missed reading this topic since it was bumped up.

I'm allergic to alcohol but I do prepare punch for others to enjoy.

I have a recipe given to me years ago by an Italian family - it uses Prosecco or Spumanti depending on the other ingredients, (how sweet they are), as well as Lemoncello and Angostura bitters and that is all I can remember right now. Strained pineapple juice comes to mine but I can't recall the rest.

I know it isn't on my computer but if anyone is interested, I will dig it out and post it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The USBG PA chapter was lucky enough to have David Wondrich visit us last weekend and lead an informative and fascinating historical cocktail tour around Philadelphia, complete with many samples of various punch recipes and a truly glorious afternoon of conviviality and learned conversation. After the pain left in the wake of that tour of Philadelphia I can only imagine that the bartending community in Boston are still barely recovering as well, after having the pleasure of the Boston version of the tour on Monday.

Dave, after a week like that, I can understand the slight aversion to punch for the holidays. I suppose the cocktail I'll be whipping up for Thanksgiving could easily be considered a punch that will be shaken and strained into individual tall glasses and topped up with ginger beer. Cranberry-Pomegranate tea, cognac, lemon, hibiscus simple syrup and a bit of Grand Marnier-alike. Is that punch? Or just a tall glass of trouble? Maybe that's the name for the drink. Or it could be Man Full 'O Trouble Punch to remain historically accurate. That site of that historic tavern is but three short blocks up the street from my house... :smile:

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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I’ve settled on Fish House Punch for Thanksgiving. I’ve never made punch before but the recipe seems straightforward. Since I don’t have peach brandy, I will use the recommended applejack substitution (maybe with some R&W apricot liqueur). I am making a large block of ice in a metal bowl (what a great idea, so much better than ice cubes).

We are invited to a party on Sunday and plan on bringing punch as well, maybe a different recipe assuming that I can source the necessary ingredients before then. I looked for Batavia Arrack that some of the other recipes call for, but I haven’t had any success so far.

I just went through this thread and started reading David Wondrich’s Punch book, so that’s giving me a lot of ideas!

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...Since I don’t have peach brandy, I will use the recommended applejack substitution (maybe with some R&W apricot liqueur)...

I can tell you from experience that using Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy in place of the peach brandy is quite delicious (and no added apricot liqueur is necessary). I made a giant bowlful for July 4, and make a single (ok, double) serving size version every once in a while.

I first made this before I had my copy of "Imbibe!" so my proportions were slightly different than David's. Here's what I've been using:

2 cups sugar

16 oz Lemon

24 oz Cognac (Louis Royer Force 53 if you can find it)

12 oz "Dark Rum" (which I interpret as 4 oz Goslings 80, 4oz Goslings 151, 4oz Smith & Cross)

12 oz Laird's Bonded

64oz Water (Plus a 32oz Ice block)

Enjoy!

PS. David -- if you're reading... Have you tried a Fish House Punch with the Kuchan Aged Peach Brandy? If so, what measurements did you use?

Thanks,

Dan

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I can tell you from experience that using Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy in place of the peach brandy is quite delicious (and no added apricot liqueur is necessary). I made a giant bowlful for July 4, and make a single (ok, double) serving size version every once in a while.

Thanks for the tip, Dan, that sounds like a plan. I'll try it without the apricot liqueur.

I am probably going to stick with the Wondrich ratios for the "mixture" though, since this is my first attempt (rum/cognac/peach (applejack) 2:1:1). I notice that your recipe favors the cognac against the rum (you are at 1:2:1).

edited to correct typo

Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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HERE is my report in the Pastry and Baking forum on the Man Full 'O Trouble Punch I made for Thanksgiving this year. It was pretty and delicious. Things are always more delicious when they're pretty... :smile:

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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PS. David -- if you're reading... Have you tried a Fish House Punch with the Kuchan Aged Peach Brandy? If so, what measurements did you use?

Thanks,

Dan

Dan:

The Fish House Punch we had on the Philly cocktail tour was prepared with the Kuchan. Damn that stuff is delicious!! It's a shame it doesn't exist for retail purchase in the Commonwealth of PA because I'd surely have some around for "recreational" use. Not sure on Dave's proportions (although I suspect they'll be close to those suggested in the book), but I'm sure he can clarify when he has a moment...

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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The Fish House Punch I made for Thanksgiving was a great success. Everyone enjoyed it and was in excellent spirits after a few glasses. I ended up using all applejack instead of apricot. It was so good that I made another batch a few days later for a party.

Now I have a question - I have a bottle left of the liquor+oleo-saccharum mixture (no water added). How long can I keep it in the fridge? Would it be a good idea to freeze it since I don't anticipate using it right away?

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If it has all of the liquor (about 6 cups), and the dissolved oleo-saccharmu (about 3 cups) and that's it, then it should be shelf-stable. If I am misunderstanding the nature of the mixture you have here then it may need to be refrigerated but if there is any signifcant amount of spirits in it it shouldn't need to be frozen (nor, in fact, would it).

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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If it has all of the liquor (about 6 cups), and the dissolved oleo-saccharmu (about 3 cups) and that's it, then it should be shelf-stable. If I am misunderstanding the nature of the mixture you have here then it may need to be refrigerated but if there is any signifcant amount of spirits in it it shouldn't need to be frozen (nor, in fact, would it).

Yes you got it right, it has the liquor and the dissolved oleo-saccharum, nothing else.

That's good news. It would be a shame to have it go to waste!

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Question for Mr. Wondrich, or others in the know:

With the holidays approaching, Dickens's Punch seems a natural tipple. I was puzzled by the the mention that less sugar is needed if the punch is served cold than if consumed hot (given the general principle that perception of sweetness is dulled at cold temperature). My only guess is that the perception of alcoholic strength would also be elevated in a hot punch, and thus more sugar might be needed to balance the recipe. Thoughts?

 

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That's awesome, Sam!

And Dave--I've found that hot Punches taste thin and a little biting without enough sugar. That's certainly what the old recipes suggest--they're always pretty sweet. I think it's as you say, the sugar blunts the edge of the alcohol.

And yes, shrub + liquor is ideal for laying down in the fridge or cellar and letting it sit until needed.

As long as I'm chiming in on things. The proportions I use of Kuchan peach brandy are as follows:

2 parts rum (mixture of 1/3 Plantation vintage 2000 Jamaican rum to 2/3 Plantation 5 year old Barbados)

1 part cognac (Martell VSOP)

1 part Kuchan

1 part lemon juice

1 part sugar (oleo-saccharum with lemon peels)

4 parts water

Ice

Nutmeg

OMG.

The Kuchan rocks.

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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A friend made two batches of Chatham Artillery Punch this week (using Mr. Wondrich's book as the source) for a party and couldn't keep up with the demand. I couldn't make it over fast enough and missed out! Damn.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Since the holiday season is here I thought that I would share a recipe for a Wassail Bowl. Wassail is an spiced ale and apple punch, and gains its name from the Anglo-Saxon phrase 'waes hael', which means something like 'good health'.

The Wassail Bowl:

6 bottles ale

12 small apples

3 whole cloves

3 whole allspice

3 broken cardamom seeds

1 broken 3" cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 cups sugar

1 fifth dry sherry (1 750 ml bottle)

Bake the apples at 350 for 20 minutes, or until tender. Tie the cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and cardamom into a cheesecloth bag, place it with 1 bottle of ale, the ginger and nutmeg, into a kettle and heat gently for 10 minutes. Remove the bag, pour in the rest of the ale, the sugar, and the sherry. Heat for 20 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and float the apples on top. Serve hot.

I like to use 5 Imperial Pints of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale and 1 Imperial Pint of their Taddy Porter in my Wassail Bowl. For the sherry I like Lustau's Dry Amontillado Los Arcos. There are many different recipes for Wassail, some call for brandy or even Calvados in place of the sherry, and others call for the use of cider along with the ale. As with all hot punches, be sure not to boil the punch or the alcohol will evaporate. I make mine in a crock pot, it stays at just the right temperature.

Wassail, and Wassailing, brought about one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time, one which we still sing today:

Here we come a-wassailing

Among the leaves so green,

Here we come a-wand'ring

So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers

That beg from door to door,

But we are neighbors' children

Whom you have seen before

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,

As you sit beside the fire,

Pray think of us poor children

Who wander in the mire.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

We have a little purse

Made of ratching leather skin;

We want some of your small change

To line it well within.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table

And spread it with a cloth;

Bring us out a cheese,

And of your Christmas loaf.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,

Likewise the mistress too;

And all the little children

That round the table go.

Love and joy come to you,

And to you your wassail, too,

And God bless you, and send you

A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

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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Kathryn, The apples do add flavour. I neglected to write that I pour all of the apple juices that accumulate in the bottom of the of the baking dish into the Wassail along with the apples. The carbonation is pretty much gone after the Wassail is heated. I have a batch of wassail in the crock pot as I write this, the Mrs and I are enjoying it while putting our Christmas decorations out. I added a bit of Calvados into the punch tonight along with the sherry, perhaps 1/4 cup. It's very tasty.

Edited by CincyCraig (log)

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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  • 3 weeks later...

That was a very nice post on your blog Chris. I wrote a post about the Regent's Punch on My cocktail blog as well, however you're a much better hand with a camera than I could ever hope to be.

I made a batch of Regent's Punch last week and had the opportunity to perform an interesting head-on-head comparison; I served half of the punch with a very good Champagne and half of it with a decent sparkling wine. For the first half of the punch, I added a bottle of Champagne J. Lassalle Brut Premier Cru Vintage 1998 (I know, it was an extravagance but it was our Christmas Eve celebration at home, so I said what the heck), and for the second second half I added a bottle of Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux, which is (allegedly) France's oldest sparking wine producer and is my go-to inexpensive bubbly (It makes a killer French 75 BTW).

The real Champagne took the punch to a completely different level, adding richness, acidity, complexity, elegance and decadence to the final product. By contrast, the batch that I made with the sparkling wine had a considerably drier and 'cleaner' flavour, with less acidity and complexity than the champagne batch. The sparkling wine version still made for a delicious and imminently drinkable punch, but it's more of an 'everyday' or non-special occasion punch. I am glad that I finally had the opportunity to make a direct comparison of the use of Champagne vs sparkling wine in punch. The Champagne made for a very special punch indeed, however my wallet will force me to reserve its use for special occasions only.

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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That was a great tutorial, Chris.

I'm having a hell of a time getting the wax off my citrus, and I read over the thread about that. Did you de-wax yours?

As a cheat, how about using all kumquats, not peeled? They have the highest ratio of peel, and the pith isn't bitter.

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  • 2 months later...

Tomorrow night will be the first dinner party we've had since I received my copy of "Punch". I'm already a devotee of Fish House Punch (and am planning on making that a regular 4th of July tradition) so I've been looking for a different one to try and have settled on Billy Dawson's Punch. I just made a trial run 1/10th portion and it's pretty tasty.

Anyone else try this one before? Any suggestions before I whip up a full double-batch tomorrow?

Dan

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