Lesson Eight: Advanced Mixology
Chapter Twelve: Bowling Is Popular Again
Garrick Club Punch
Back in the early part of the nineteenth century, the Garrick Club was one of London’s sportier institutions, with a membership made up of actors, slumming aristocrats, and other racy types. Like Limmer’s Hotel (for which see the John Collins), it was famous for its Gin Punch. And rightly so: this is just about the best thing known to mankind for refreshing a passel of thirsty, hot party guests. Serves 16.
To assemble, peel 4 of the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith. Squeeze the lemons—you need 12 ounces of juice—and pour the juice into a large pitcher or bowl along with the gin and maraschino. Steep the lemon peel in the mixture for at least an hour. When it’s time to serve it forth, pour the Punch into a punchbowl, slide in your block of ice, and add the fizz water.
As complex as the Garrick Club Punch is simple, this fellow survivor from the Golden Age of Punch was consumed with gusto by the dissolute eldest son of George III, both while he was Prince Regent and when he ruled as King George IV. It’s about as aristocratic as a beverage can get, and well worth the trouble. Serves 16.
Juice and peel of 4 lemons
Juice and peel of 6 small oranges, 2 of them Seville oranges, if possible (Sevilles are difficult to find, and their season is extremely short; try www.citrusranch.com)
4 bags or teaspoons green tea leaves
8 ounces superfine sugar
16 ounces VSOP cognac
5 ounces dark, full-bodied rum
3 ounces Wray & Nephew White Overproof rum
4 ounces pineapple syrup (made by soaking a cubed pineapple overnight in enough rich simple syrup to cover it; this will keep for a while if refrigerated, especially if a little high-proof rum or grain alcohol is added to prevent spoilage)
2 bottles chilled brut champagne
To assemble, steep the citrus peels and tea in a small pan with four cups of boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove (or strain, if you used loose tea) and discard them. Stir in the sugar and add the citrus juice. Pour this into your punchbowl, add the cognac, rums, and pineapple syrup, and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to serve, slide in a large block of ice and pour in the champagne.
Rocky Mountain Punch
The Rocky Mountains used to be the kind of place you’d find a gilt-slathered opera house standing next door to a barrelhouse built from old packing cases. Rocky Mountain Punch, a recipe dating to the 1860s or before, combines the flash and filigree of the former with the raw cussedness of the latter. Serves 16.
Juice 4 of the lemons and combine the juice in a bowl with the rum, maraschino, and sugar. Let stand for an hour and then add a large block of ice, the champagne, the fizzy water, and the remaining 2 lemons, sliced into very thin circles.
Recipes reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich