*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, originally published in the Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady + Hanky Panky
In honor of the anniversary of the birth of our nation, the ladies of LUPEC raise our glasses to the original first lady.
Regardless of party affiliation, most of us can agree that our very first president was a relatively stand-up guy, and his wife, Martha (to quote the stoner in Dazed and Confused), “was a hip, hip, hip lady.” And as a couple, George and Martha Washington knew how to party.
Martha took her entertaining duties as first lady very seriously. She hosted lavish parties at the then-capital cities of New York and Philadelphia, and the Washingtons’ estate, Mount Vernon. She wanted our nubile country and government to be on par with our European counterparts, and entertained in a similar formal style. Most of Martha’s affairs began with signature drinks served before dinner, which were likely made with spirits from Washington’s own distillery, one of the largest and most profitable during the colonial era.
According to the Mount Vernon Historical Society, George Washington favored sweet fortified wines like Madeira and port, and was also a fan of Rum Punch. So are we! Here’s Martha’s original recipe (from her notes).
MARTHA WASHINGTON’S RUM PUNCH
4 oz lemon juice
4 oz orange juice
4 oz simple syrup
3 lemons quartered
1 orange quartered
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks broken
12 oz boiling water
In a container, mash the lemons, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add syrup, lemon and orange juice. Pour the boiling water over the mixture. Let it cool. Strain out the solids. Heat the juice mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let it cool and refrigerate overnight.
In a punch bowl, combine:
3 parts juice mixture
1 part light rum
1 part dark rum
1/2 part orange curaçao
Serve the punch over ice. Top with grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
For more stories on Presidential tippling, check out this post-election day post from Nov 2008.