A Story of Punch with Some Recipes
Previous bartenders were making just large cocktails and pouring them in a bowl and calling it punch. Unfortunately some still practice this method of anything you put in a punch bowl is deemed a punch when in fact Dr David Wondrich has taught us that a punch in fact has proper technique and rules of thumb to follow. A Punch is meant to be drunk communally as well as it is meant to be stretched out with dilution of some kind so it is less alcoholic. Historically the most important part of making punch is creating the Oleo Saccharum which consist of citrus oil, the peel along with granulated sugar. By peeling the skin of lemon, lime, orange or even grapefruit, adding sugar and muddling them together or letting them sit for a period of time the sugar extracts the oils from the skin and ultimately you have this beautiful citrus sweet paste made up of all the essential oils from the skin. This is the base of punch. Bars prep it in advance in mason jars or cryovac sealed bags as part of their daily and or weekly routines. Punch is also made up of 5 ingredients citrus, sugar, water, spirit, tea or spices.
Most cocktail bartenders today are following the classic methodology taught to us by Dr David Wondrich as well it has become a staple as most cocktail bars carry punch bowls and have punch menus. I have been seeing inventive and different serving vessels for punch for 2-4ppl for example vintage shakers or even old teakettles, which I found fun. Punches are here to stay as they have a proper place in our cocktail history. I think in 2015 you will see more busy bars offering a glass punch at the bar in order to off set the volume. I am sure we will also see more inventive house made variations and recipes as like food it is ever evolving.
Martha Washington’s Rum Punch
Contributed by the Cocktail Collective circa 2010
Serves 5-6 ppl
9oz Appleton White Rum
12oz Appleton “Extra” 12 Year Rum
6oz Grand Marnier
9oz Fresh Lemon Juice
9oz Fresh Orange Juice
9oz Spiced Simple Syrup*
Grated Nutmeg Garnish
Lemon ½ wheels & orange ½ wheels
*Spiced Simple Syrup
1.5 cups Water
1.5 cups Sugar
2 Star anise pods
1 to 2 Cinnamon sticks
4 to 5 Whole cloves
Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and let stand until cool. Strain, and refrigerate until needed.
If possible combine all ingredients in advance and get cold. Present punch bowl with ice along with the garnish on the side. Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl over a large format 4×4 ice cube and if not cold you could add 2 cups of crushed ice or pebble ice to get to optimal temperature. Garnish with lemon and orange ½ wheels and dust with fresh nutmeg
We’re all aware of the great things our first president accomplished in his tenure. What most do not know is that our First Lady took her duties very seriously as well. She did her best to entertain in a formal style in hopes of representing this fledgling nation as an equal to visiting dignitaries from more established European countries. If this punch is any indication, she was quite the host.
The Cocktail Collective was made up of
Willy Shine, Misty Kalkofen, Eric Alperin, Richard Boccato, John Lermayer & Simon Ford
Jamaican Blue Mountain Punch
Contributed by Willy Shine
Serves 5-6 ppl
12 oz Appleton Estate Reserve
6 oz Sandeman Character Amontillado sherry
3 oz Grand Marnier
6 oz Strong hibiscus tea
Peels of 2 oranges
3 oz limejuice
3 oz superfine sugar
18 oz sparkling water
Dusting of Blue Mountain Coffee grounds
Orange ½ wheels
Edible orchids as garnish
If possible combine all ingredients in advance and get cold. Start with the peels and the sugar by muddling together and or prepare in advance. Present punch bowl with ice along with the garnish on the side. Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl over a large format 4×4 ice cube and if not cold you could add 2 cups of crushed ice or pebble ice to get to optimal temperature. Garnish with dusting of fresh nutmeg and Blue Mountain coffee grounds orange ½ wheels and edible orchids
The Jamaican Blue Mountain Punch is a celebration to the beautiful big flavors and amazing history of the island of Jamaica.