Local Wine Co's Blog

To Make a Cocktail – Punch Session One by cdbakunas
December 16, 2010, 11:01 am
Filed under: Making Cocktails | Tags: , , , , ,

Punch session 1 is complete. Four classic punch cocktails and all our fingers, toes and arms are in tact.

Picture of making Punches, Day 1

I have a confession to make. I know Wondrich has reprinted these recipes with very little, to no alterations from their original form…and god bless him for that…here comes the but…seriously vague recipes. I will admit that I am in no way a formidable bartender to contend with, but I am a beverage man and the variables in cocktail recipes is admirable. Let’s talk rum for a second. When you say substitute an ounce of Jamaican rum for Brandy David, do you mean aged rum, light rum or spiced rum?  And when our punch recipe says two slices of orange am I supposed to muddle this shit, squeeze it, garnish it or just shake the beejeezus out of it? I know this is classic and requires experimentation and I’m in, I’m sold, I’m down for it…but I keep asking myself who’s this book written for? What everyday consumer has the time to make five different variations of the same cocktail recipe?

This is the beauty and the ugly of working with classic cocktails. To put it into perspective we have the luxury of decades of recipe books and are a bit spoiled with the ABC layout of do it yourself. But what does the everyday cocktail enthusiast do with these old recipes? How does one devine the golden rod to follow that leads us to cocktail Utopia (whatever that is)?

Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast. And we’ll be making a shit ton more cocktails next week, but I have to cry foul at the difficulty of vague directions. It reminds me of getting driving directions from my grandpa who would offer peculiar road marks in lieu of street names like go straight for three clicks, then when you see that house on the right that has the orange trim take a left at the next street…doesn’t that street have a name grandpa? Shit…just take a left son…and so the directions would go.

That’s sort of how these recipes work. Get this, get that and put it together and I’ll see you in the morning. I’m smiling right now cause it was a lot of fun to get into these punches and ask the questions…is this right, do we strain it, add how much of what, what glass do we serve it in and do we really drink it out of a straw?

We made the classic Brandy Punch, then the Curacoa Punch followed by the West Indian and the Tamarind Punch.

Here is the basic Brand Punch Recipe:

1tbls raspberry syrup

2tbls white (fine) sugar

2oz water

3oz brandy

1/2 small lemon

2 slices orange

1 piece pineapple

The Curacoa Punch replaced the raspberry syrup with 1oz Curacoa. The West Indian was a classic Brandy Punch, sub 1oz of Jamaican rum for Brandy, add “clove or two of preserved ginger and a little of the syrup.” Now that is fucking vague. What is preserved ginger? Where do you find that and is it anything like what was made in 1867? And how much is “a little syrup?”

The Tamarind Punch was the classic Brandy Punch and again cut the Brandy back 1oz and float 1oz Jamaican rum and use tamarind jelly in lieu of the lemon.

Well there you have it. I hope you are making some of these cocktails at home, or even better at work. Tell your boss it’s research and necessary in order to activate more social media followers!

See you next week.

By the way, we gravitated towards the Tamarind and West Indian Punch and had to make some alterations to make them work for us. Replicating old school classic cocktails is difficult. It requires a removal of self and an attempt to not think like a 21st century beverage consumer, but rather think of an era long past that none of our grandparents even lived in.


2 Comments so far
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Remember that sometimes the wisest persons make faults and usually really major ones.

Comment by travel videos free

Thanks for the entertaining read! Alright recess is over and back to my homework.

Comment by world travel video

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