Speaking Easy Podcast – Episode 008 – Punch

Punch - Speaking Easy Podcast - Cocktails and Home Entertaining - Bartending

Punch is not a cocktail. So does our show “on cocktails and home entertaining” avoid the topic? No, because that would be ridiculous. Punches, also called “the flowing bowl” (no toilet humor, please), are the most social mixed drinks—too much for one person, and traditionally served in smaller vessels to encourage gathering around the punchbowl. Punch may very well be the best mixed drink to serve at a party—just pre-batch and party. Further, punches are also traditionally lower in alcohol by volume (a tradition we strongly suggest following), encourage a bright merriment among your guests—without getting too sloppy. Keepin’ it classy is just the Speaking Easy way—and it’s all about being a better drinker.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How punch preceded the cocktail
  • How some U.S. presidents used to take their punch
  • What a proper punch is (and how you can go horribly wrong quickly)
  • Ingredients to some classic punches

Wise Words:

“In England especially, I’ve found that if you bring up King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson at a dinner party or a social gathering, it’s like throwing a Molotov cocktail into the room.” -Madonna Ciccone

“I always knew I was going to be successful in some way with films. I don’t know why. I had no particular talent, but I always knew I was going to be sitting in a dining room with Lucille Ball and at a cocktail party with Bette Davis.” -Robert Osborne

Gear & Supplies:

American History (in Punch):

  • Martha Washington’s Rum Punch
    • 4 oz lemon juice, 4 oz orange juice, 4 oz simple syrup, 3 quartered lemons, 1 quartered orange, ½ tsp grated nutmeg, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves, 12 oz boiling water, 9 oz light rum, 9 oz dark rum
  • Ulysses Simpson Grant’s Meringue & Roman Punch—a mid-dinner refresher
    • Juice of 2 Oranges, 8 oz. Champagne, 8 cups rum, 2 oz orange liqueur, 1 quart lemon sherbet, 2 egg whites, 5 drops lemon juice, 3 cups powdered sugar, Serves 10
  • Gerald Ford curated the Republican Congressional Cookbook, including Charleston Light Dragoon’s Punch
    • 4 cups sugar, 4 quarts brandy, juice of 24 squeezed lemons, 1 quart Jamaican rum, 4 quarts black tea, ½ pint peach brandy, sparkling water, garnish with lemons—SERVES 80 PEOPLE
  • Classic American Punch: Philadelphia Fish House Punch
    • Of note—George Washington once drank so much, he apparently had a 3 day hangover and couldn’t mention it for a few days
    • 1 pint lemon juice, 3 pints of a 2:1 water : sugar simple syrup, ½ pint Jamaican rum, ¼ pint Cognac brandy, ¼ pint peach brandy (which can be made from a 3:1 apple brandy : peach liqueur

Other Features:

Have a good punch recipe or story? Let us know  in the comments below!