Punch Drunk

As summer approaches, I’m looking for new food and drink recipes to try out for myself and share with others. Yesterday I attended my first drink-making class at a really awesome bar called RYE in Baltimore. The class, cleverly named “TKO: An Afternoon of Punches”, was an hour long class that sat 10 guests who purchased the class through a LivingSocial deal.

We talked, asked questions, and listened as Managing Partner/ Head Bartender Doug Atwell, and his fiancé Teri, gave us some information on the history of punch in Europe and the United States. We learned the step-by-step instructions on how to make three historical punches, and did some drinking.

Punches are great to make for social events, and while many associate punch with fruity girly drinks, they are strong and tasty enough for the guys to enjoy too. You’d be surprised at how much whiskey and brandy are put into these concoctions. Want to try these out? See the recipes handed out at the class below:

Philadelphia Fish House Punch-Oldest recipe dates from 1795

Proportions to serve 25:

  • 8 Peels of Lemons
  • 2.5 Cups of Demerara Sugar
  • 16 oz Boiling Water
  • 16 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 (750-mL) bottle Smith & Cross Traditional Rum
  • 12 oz VSOP cognac
  • 12 0z real peach brandy(if can’t find use 8 oz of Laird’s AppleJack and 4 ounces of imported peach liqueur)
  • 3 qt Cold Water
  • Garnish: Grated Nutmeg
In a large punch bowl, muddle the lemon peels and sugar. Let the mixture stand for at least 3 hours. Add boiling water, stirring until as much as possible of the sugar has been dissolved. Add remained ingredients and stir to combine. To serve, add an ice block and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Brandy Punch
From Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, Originally published in 1869
Proportions to serve 24:
  • 32 oz Water
  • 16 tablesppons Demerara Sugar
  • 4 oz Raspberry Sugar
  • 6 oz Lemon Juice
  • 16 oz Orange Juice
  • Fresh Pineapple Slives
  • 32 oz Brandy
In a punch bowl, combine water, sugar, and raspberry syrup. Add citrus, then brandy. Stir well and adjust to taste.
Very Fine Punch of St. Mary’s Manor
From Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Maryland, originally published in 1932.
Proportions to serve 24:
  • 2 tablespoons Red Currant Jelly
  • 24 oz Brandy
  • 24 oz Whiskey(or Rye)
  • 24 oz Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)
  • 18 0z of Strong Green Tea
  • 3/4 Lemon Juice
  • 5 Thinly Sliced Lemons for Garnish
  • Sugar to Taste
Dissolve jelly with water in a small bowl. In a punch bowl, add jelly, lemon juice, green tea, and then brandy and whiskey. Finish by adding champagne and lemon garnishes last. Stir well and adjust to taste.
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My favorite out of the three was the Brandy Punch. There’s something about fruit that gives the punch a refreshing (and semi-healthy) taste.
More about RYE:

This unique, welcoming bar in Fells Point is known for it’s well-crafted cocktails. The juices and ingredients used in every drink are fresh and local, and the bartenders are happy to take a few minutes out of their busy shifts to engage conversation and tell you a thing or two.

For more information on RYE or to learn about upcoming mixology classes, visit their website at http://www.ryebaltimore.com

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