I’ve been thinking about punches lately – well actually just thinking about large bowls of liquor – so I figured I’d contribute this month’s MxMo theme which is Punch, hosted by Hobson’s Choice. The following recipe is from Trader Vic’s book. I like it because it’s got bourbon, which I haven’t seen in very many punches, and it’s also got tea, which I’ve never actually had a in a punch before. And also, tea infused cocktails are all the rage right now… and I’m nothing if not a follower of trends.
Stag Special Punch
1 qt. Bourbon
1/2 pt. Maraschino
Juice 6 Lemons
1/2 pt. Jamaican Rum
1/2 pt. Pineapple Juice
1 qt. Strong Green Tea
“Mix in punch bowl with large block of ice and let stand until thoroughly chilled. Garnish with fresh mint and serve in punch cups.”
So, hmmm. Not really stoked with the recipe as stated. I found the maraschino overwhelming – but I am admittedly sensitive to that shit. And I didn’t really get the pineapple juice, which was dissapointing since making pineapple juice is a fucking pain in the ass if you don’t have a Juiceman. Which I ain’t. So I added another cup of pineapple juice, which helped. And then, on a whim, I added the juice of two grapefruits. Which really helped. Is it a punch I would serve at the bar? Not necessarily. But at the end of the day, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about getting fucking drunk, so in sense, mission accomp’d.
Here’s one from Trader Vic’s book… It isn’t a very good drink, but it looks cool. It’s also pretty fucking hard to make, so I’m gonna post it, and you’re gonna read it, and that’s the way it’s gonna fucking crappen. Accept it, look at the picture, and then go back to your awesome life. Jerk.
1/2 oz. Grenadine
1/2 oz. Maraschino
1/2 oz. Chartreuse
Pour ingredients slowly over the back of a spoon, in order, into a chilled cordial glass. Prepare to be underwhelmed.
When wifey and I were in Savannah for the holidays, we grabbed up on some great honey at the Savannah Bee Company. Shit’s legit, let me say. And I love to use to use honey in cocktails. When I came across the following recipe in the Bartender’s Guide, I remembered I had it at Little Branch a few years back with the Doc. Incidentally, we were the only patrons on that chilly Sunday evening, and we were each served seven totally unique cocktails – bartender’s choice – by Sam Ross, hisself. So yeah, I’m kinda kick ass.
2 oz. Apple Brandy
1 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Honey
Shake over ice, serve up or down with a lemon peel.
Okay, the original recipe calls for a ratio of 1:1:1. Too sweet, not boozy enough. My ratio works quite a bit better. Also, here’s the thing about honey… it’s tough to get it to dissolve into the drink. You can either add a splash of very hot water, or just do a dry shake before you add the ice. Otherwise it’ll just hang out at the bottom of the glass, shitty and ill-informed.
If you don’t have apple brandy – Laird’s Bonded or a nice Calvados, please – you can use gin, but then it’s called a “Bee’s Knee.” Sam Ross made a drink called the Bee’s Kiss, which was based on this, but made with rum and a dash of cream.
I scored a second edition copy of the Bartender’s Guide by Trader Vic, on loan from Duke Pukes. It’s a great book, full of bizarre drinks (the Angel’s Tit and the Bosom Caresser, just to name two) and even bizarrer anecdotes and advices about the profession of “saloonkeeping,” including spotting “phonies” and “check dodgers.”
However, as strange and out of date as it is, there are some fantastic recipes I’ve never seen before and a true appreciation for the well made drink. So, in it’s honor, I’ve added a new category, and will periodically be covering drinks from the book. If you’ve got the chance to pick up a copy, go for it.