Before we were imbibing Sazeracs and Mint Juleps, a bowl of punch was the refreshment of choice. Spanning countries and social classes, the flowing bowl was a vastly different beverage then the one we know today. What has morphed into a vile mixture of soda, canned fruit juice and vodka, punch is slowly regaining it's historical roots mainly due to David Wondrich's book simply titled "Punch".
I took advantage of what may be the last stretch of warm weather this past weekend in Victoria B.C. by making a punch to take to a family outing. Punches are the most efficient way of pleasing the most people with minimal amount of effort.
The Trader's Tipple (Serves 4-5 People)
- 6 oz Rum
- 4 oz VS Cognac
- 3 oz Lemon Juice
- 3 oz Grapefruit Juice
- 2 oz Chilled Silk Road Herbal Chai Tea (Brew hot and let cool)
- 2 oz Sugar (By Volume)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Peel of 1/2 a Grapefruit
- Peel of 1 Lemon
- Add the peel of one grapefruit and one lemon to sugar
- Muddle citrus peel into sugar until all peel as been fully macerated
- Let sugar and critic peel sit for 1 hour
- Add chilled tea, vanilla extract and fruit juice to Oleo-Saccharum
- Stir until all sugar has dissolved
- Add Rum and Cognac
- Chill Punch for a minimum of 2 hours in fridge
- Strain Punch through a fine mesh strainer to remove all citric peel
- Decorate punch with thin slices of lemon peel, grapefruit peel, star anise and what ever else takes your fancy
One thing you must consider when making a punch for a large group of people is what kind of imbibing do these people normally participate in. If you are making a punch for wine and beer drinkers it's best to leave the punch a little less boozy then you would normally like. After all you can always add more booze. I prefer an extra ounce of Cognac and Rum. The above recipe's preparations are a bit on the small size for a punch but feel free to adjust to make enough for your gathering.