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Posts Tagged ‘Punch’

by Pink Lady
Raise a glass to your right to drink!

On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified ending thirteen long, dry years of Prohibition. “Hallelujah!” cried the nation.

This Monday, the ladies of LUPEC will celebrate by turning out a party in our signature style: with full flapper dress, cheap punches, snacks, and cocktailing for a cause!

Because what else do you have to do on Monday besides drink cheap cocktails for charity?

In keeping with the Speakeasy theme of the era, the location of the party won’t be officially announced until later this weekend. But here’s a riddle of a hint:

You’ll find all that you need at this watering hole,
From a dram to a Collins to drinks by the bowl.
Black nectar from the tap is always divine
Or go whole hog if you’re a fan of swine!

Details will be revealed via Twitter, Facebook, this newsletter, and good ol’ word of mouth (a.k.a. text a LUPEC member.)

What to expect:
*LUPEC girls in flapper gear channeling Texas Guinan and saying things like “Hello suckers, come on in & leave your wallet on the bar!”
*$4 cups of punch!
*$2 charity punch – only available to those who know the super secret password (announced on Repeal Day, Dec 5th)
*Great drinks made with Bluecoat Gin, St-Germain & Pierre Ferrand
*Polaroid photo project, all proceeds go to charity
*Hip flasks, flapper gear, and tails welcome!

Follow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter for details!
Like us on FacebookFan us here for details!

 

Hope to see you there!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, a portion of which originally appeared in the Weekly Dig.

As the snow dumps and the holiday bills roll in many of us are choosing to imbibe at home, both to save money and stay warm. Such was the case last week for this LUPEC lady: my roommate whipped up a batch of jambalaya in the slow cooker and invited Alexander to come by for dinner. Alexander invited a friend who invited a friend and I invited a friend who did the same. Before we knew it, our snuggly winter dinner plans morphed into an impromptu dinner party. With all these guests on their way and only ten minutes to prep, what were we to do? Make punch!

Our group was a blend of bourbon drinkers and folks who “only drink vodka” so I turned to a bottle of Nolet’s Finest as a base, an elegant gin that uses Turkish rose petals and raspberries as main botanicals. With subdued juniper notes, Nolet’s ia a nice gateway choice for gin-phobes. I had white tea kicking about in the cabinet, lemons on the counter, a bottle of Combier and a little Orchard Apricot Liqueur on the bar. Old school recipes for punch (like, circa the 18th century) call for tea, sugar, water, spirits, citrus, and little spice. With all of these items at my fingertips, punch became possible.

When our guests arrived they were thrilled to find me batching up a bowl of punch just for them. It’s as simple as pie (easier even – have you ever tried to make pie dough?) but packs impressive, well, punch. Our guests christened it the Short Con – the Long Con has yet to be invented, but will probably use something brown as a base.

To similarly delight your guests, follow these simple steps:

Step #1: Steep tea. How much will depend on how much punch you are making; for the Short Con Punch I steeped 2 white tea bags in 1 cup of water for five minutes.

Step #2: Peel whatever citrus you choose and muddle it with sugar. Again, this should scale; for the Short Con Punch, muddle peels of 4 lemons and a lime in about a cup of sugar. Muddle until the citrus oils have been absorbed by the sugar.

Step #3: Add tea to the sugary citrus peel mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Step #4: Add base spirit, modifying liqueurs, and fresh squeezed citrus juice of choice in a ratio of 2:1:1. For the Short Con we started with 2 cups of gin, a little over ¼ cup of Combier, a little under ¼ cup of Orchard Apricot Liqueur and juice of 4-5 lemons. Taste as you go and modify as needed.

Step #5: Add a little water and ice.

Et voila! If serving immediately, ladle punch over ice filled cups. If you have time, allow the punch to chill for a bit (literally) before serving.

Your guests will be so impressed. But do prepare yourself for texts that blame you for their hangover the morning after.

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Join us for a Holiday Punch Party on Monday, December 20th at Starlite Lounge to benefit On the Rise, a Cambridge-based non-profit that supports the initiative and strength of women living in crisis or homelessness.

In addition to the usual mixing, mingling, and drinking that our events offer, we’ll also be holding a clothing drive for the ladies served by On the Rise. An article of women’s clothing gets you a free drink ticket.

We’re seeking casual winter women’s clothing such as: winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves as well as bras and undergarments of all sizes as there’s always a need for items like these. Proceeds from drink sales will also be donated to On the Rise, so you can still make a difference if all you have are pockets full of cash.

***Starlite will be accepting clothing donations all weekend long! You can drop items off Friday, December 17th – Monday, December 20th after 4pm.***

LUPEC Holiday Punch Party
Monday, December 20, 6 – 11 p.m.
Trina’s Starlite Lounge – Parlor Bar
3 Beacon St., Somerville, MA
Punch, snacks, and specialty cocktails will be served thanks to Bols Genever, St-Germain, Pierre Ferrand, Plantation Rum, Beefeater 24, Absolut, Chartreuse and more!

Holiday attire is encouraged and can be interpreted however you like: Santa Suit, ugly Christmas sweater, Three Wise Men beard, or little black cocktail dress.

We hope to see you there!

Cin-cin!

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*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig

by Pink Lady

Wedding registries serve their purpose, but what if you forget to buy a present until the last minute? Rather than choose between a gravy ladle and a celebration bowl as nuptial present for my best friend from high school, I circumvented mediocrity this July by giving the gift of booze.

The betrothed wanted to serve cocktails at their wedding, but offered just beer and wine in an effort to cut costs. Suspecting their guests might get rowdy if allowed unchecked access to an open bar, this seemed an optimal way to ensure the reception stayed classy. But the bride still longed for at least one cocktail at her wedding. A special nuptial punch created just for her was the perfect solution.

I procured a retro, 50’s-era punch bowl on EBay a few weeks before the wedding and had it shipped directly to the bride’s doorstep in Portland, OR. The night before the wedding I batched up this typical 18th century punch, tailoring it to the nuptial couple’s taste. Christened with a special name and served in their new punch bowl, it was a unique, delicious gift. Guests continue to stalk me on Facebook for the recipe.

THE ROSE CITY WEDDING CUP
For Alex and Mary’s Wedding
Serves 85

Step #1: Two days before.
Fill a metal bowl (sized to scale with the punch bowl) with water and stash it in the freezer.

Step #2: A few hours before the wedding, or the night before.
Steep 4 green tea bags in 4 cups water for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Peel 16 lemons. In a large bowl, muddle peels in 2 lbs sugar until oil is absorbed.
Add tea, 2 L cognac, and 1 750-ml bottle dark rum (I used Bacardi Dark Select, a favored brand of the father-of-the-bride.) Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add 8 cups cold water and refrigerate.

Step #3: Complete this step within a few hours of serving.
Add 24 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice to the booze-sugar-tea mixture.

Add block of ice to the punch bowl and serve. The punch doesn’t taste strong but it is; ladle conservatively into an ice-filled glass.

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Here we come A-Wassailing

by Hanky Panky

Hopefully in the midst of the holiday hustle you were able to snag a copy of this week’s Dig in which the LUPEC ladies unraveled the mystery of wassailing.  Who knew that the phrase that has been confusing us for years could actually be pointing to a delicious libation that can warm us throughout this festive and hectic season.

Thankfully making Wassail is not complicated.  It can, however, be a bit time consuming.  For this reason we decided to feature a recipe for Wassail from one of our favorite books, Jigger, Beaker, & Glass: Drinking Around the World by Charles H. Baker Jr. Mr. Baker is best known for traveling the world over to write about all things related to food and drink.  Those who are fortunate to own this tome know that his prose is as remarkably delicious as the recipes featured therein.  So who better to walk us through the ancient ritual than Mr. Charles H. Baker Jr.  Enjoy!

THE ANCIENT WASSAIL BOWL FROM AN ANCIENT ELIZABETHAN FORMULA, CIRCA 1602, & TRULY NOTABLE FOR ITS EXCEEDING MILDNESS

In Saxon times this custom of the Wassail Bowl at feast days was an important ceremony, and later it became an accepted custom at Christmas Eve, when minstrels or choirs, or village singers went about singing carols where there was a candle lit in the window.

In the Feudal castles, and manor houses, the Wassail Bowl was borne into the banqueting Hall with songs and carols, and crowned with garlands.

Nutmeg, 1/2 grated; or 2 tsp powdered

Powdered or grated ginger, 1 tsp

Cloves, 6 whole

Cinnamon, 1 inch of stick

Sugar, 1 cup

Eggs, yolks 6; whites 3

Apples, 6 cored, but not pared

Mace, 1/4 tsp

Water

Sherry or Madeira, 2 qts

Take spices and cover with a cup of cold water.  Fetch to a boil; adding wine and sugar.  Let heat up…Meanwhile in the Wassail Bowl (Punchbowl) previously warmed:

Break in six yolks and three whites.  Beat up.  When wine is warm – not boiling – mix a teacupful with the egg.  When a little warmer, add another cupful, and repeat until five cups have been used…Now let the rest of the wine boil up well, and pour it into the bowl also, stirring well all the time, until it froths in attractive fashion…Fill cored apples with sugar, sprinkle on a little of the spice and roast until nearly done.  Time these to suit the end of the wine-pouring process.  Throw them into the bowl, and serve the whole thing very hot…Some stout hearts add a tumbler full of good cognac brandy to the whole – and we, after testing the business, heartily agree with them; since sherry of itself isn’t potent enough to make any Saxon defend his native land, much less a 20th Century wassailer, with all we have been through during one and a half decades that Saxons never even considered as drinkable fluid!

wassail_song_37b1

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Punch served at the July meeting by Bourbon Belle's

Punch served at the July meeting by Bourbon Belle

by Hanky Panky

In this week’s column in the Weekly Dig Pink Lady took us through the finer points of hosting for a cocktail crowd. Batching is a great way to alleviate stress and allow a host/ess to enjoy the party as much as their guests. Another way to accomplish this is by serving guests a lovely bowl of punch. Many of us only associate the punch bowl with 1950′s-era high school dances, but the punch bowl and it’s spiking has a history that dates back long before Mr. Fonzerelli.

The word punch may originate from the Hindu panch, meaning five, as punches were traditionally composed of five ingredients-spirits, lemon or lime, sugar, spices and water. It became popular among the sailors of the British East India Company in the late 16th and early 17th century as they traversed about the area of India. The punch bowl from which they imbibed was spiked with Arak, an Arabic term that is used for liquor of any kind. In the case of our British Navy friends, they were probably getting looped on spirits made from palm tree sap.

Now we all know how fun it is to tie one on with our friends, so it’s no surprise that the tradition of the punch bowl was brought back to England as a souvenir and it’s popularity quickly spread. The punch craze was carried across the great pond and we came up with our own American variations. So what happened? When did the punch bowl get relegated to the closet only to be brought out for little Suzie’s 8th birthday party? Essentially we just got too darned busy, or at least we wanted everyone to think we were busy. In the fast paced environment of the new world it fell out of fashion to be seen with your friends lazing away the afternoon hours while draining a bowl of punch.

Well the ladies of LUPEC believe the punch bowl is just what we need. Nothing eases stress like a few good friends and a bowl of hooch. Unearth your punch set and give one of our favorites a try! David Wondrich’s Esquire recipe for the Pisco Punch is truly divine!

PISCO PUNCH
1 pineapple(s)
gum syrup
1 pint distilled water
10 ounces lemon juice
24 ounces pisco brandy

Take a fresh pineapple, cut it in squares about 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches. Put these squares of fresh pineapple in a bowl of gum syrup* to soak overnight. That serves the double purpose of flavoring the gum syrup with the pineapple and soaking the pineapple, both of which are used afterward in the Pisco Punch.

In the morning, mix 8 ounces of the flavored gum syrup, the water, lemon juice, and pisco** in a big bowl.

Serve very cold but be careful not to keep the ice in too long because of dilution. Use 3- or 4-ounce punch glasses. Put one of the above squares of pineapple in each glass. Lemon juice or gum syrup may be added to taste.

For perfect authenticity, we should note, this should be made one drink at a time, as Nicol did:

In a cocktail shaker, combine: 2 ounces pisco, 1 ounce distilled water (Nicol insisted on this), 2/3 ounce (4 teaspoons) syrup (refrigerated, this’ll keep at least two or three months), 3/4 ounce lemon juice.

Shake well, strain into a thin punch glass and garnish with syrup-soaked pineapple chunk., (You can freeze these, if you want ‘em to keep.)

* The secret ingredient here, gum (aka “gomme”) syrup, is a nineteenth-century bar essential consisting of sugar syrup blended with gum arabic (the crystallized sap of the acacia tree) to smooth it out and add body. To make it, slowly stir 1 pound gum arabic into 1 pint distilled water and let soak for a day or two. When this solution is ready, bring 4 pounds sugar and 1 quart distilled water to a boil, add the gum solution, and skim off the foam. Let it cool, filter it through cheesecloth, and bottle it. It should keep, even unrefrigerated. You can find gum arabic powder in some health-food stores and at Frontiercoop.com. It’s worth the hassle. Really.

And don’t forget to check out a punch from posts past!

Cin Cin!

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