I love punch. There I said it. You've always thought it but you were ashamed to admit it. Go ahead. Shout it from a roof top. I LOVE PUNCH!
Feels pretty good doesn't it?
I make punch for a living. Well, not just punch, I make all sorts of intoxicating libations. But what I love most about bartending at a fine establishment is making punch. Not just any Ye Ole Punch mind you (though there's nothing wrong with a classic Planter's Punch or Fish House Punch) but off-the-cuff creations. I won't bore you with the details, that's what the rest of the blog is for, but punch lets you experiment with ingredients and build upon flavors on the fly in a way that creating cocktails doesn't quite allow.
Making punch is a lot like cooking. You can add one thing, taste, tweak, add more, spice, taste, tweak, etc. Cocktails are more akin to baking in all it's exacting chemistry -- you mix it all together, "bake" it over ice and see what comes out. Sometimes it's absolutely glorious. Most of the time it's not. There's something just so damned organic and fervent about the whole punch making business. And forget the stuffiness of it all. Punch is fun and punk and insane and wild and well all that other stuff because, after all, it's about partying.
In the coming posts we will talk about how to make a good punch, how to fix a bad punch, some great classics and new favorites from great bars and bartenders, and some new ideas here and there. I expect a lot of great contributors will add more content than I could dream, and I hope this becomes a repository for recipes that otherwise might be forgotten. A sort of punch sanctuary where punches of all types can run wild and dream of chasing cats or whatever it is punches do in their dreams.
I'm glad you love punch as much as I do. Go ahead, drink a glass of punch. Feels pretty good doesn't it?
I'll leave you with this little tid bit that's, well, in a word - badass (from Wikipedia):
There is a college tradition at Jesus College in Oxford that a famous silver-gilded punch bowl will be presented to anyone who can meet two challenges. The first is to put arms around the bowl at its widest point; the second is to drain the bowl of strong punch (10 imperial gallons or 45 L). The bowl measures 5 feet 2 inches (1.6 m) at its widest point, and so the first challenge has only been accomplished rarely; the second challenge has not been met.