For inspiration, I opened up a copy of the 1869 Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks which gave the following opening poem about punches:
Four striking opposites we take--
The strong, the small, the sharp, the sweet,
Together mixed, most kindly meet.
And when they happily unite,
The bowl is "fragrant with delight."
In the text, one punch grabbed me instantly for it was both an oddball and a tantalizing recipe. It did not fall into the popularized 5 part punch family which includes a citrus component, but does have the four parts laid out in the poem, and has more of a Caribbean than the classic English-India feel to it. The Trinidad Punch I picked was not the better known rum, lime, simple syrup, and Angostura Bitters recipe of the same name, but was described as:
Trinidad Punch - In 1 pint of rum digest 1 oz. chocolate, 1/2 stick vanilla; when well incorporated, strain; add 2 pints cocoa-nut milk. This punch can be used either as a cool cup, with ice, or hot."To enact this punch, I scaled things down a little, and upon tasting the mix before it was chilled, it definitely needed some sweetening to smooth out the hot rum flavors and make it more drinkable. Perhaps the recipe relied on sweeter coconut milk than the one I was using, or a drier aesthetic prevailed. My recipe was as follows:
Trinidad PunchSince I did not have the larger Bourbon vanilla beans in my spice collection, I utilized the smaller Tahitian varietal. Moreover, I opted to serve the punch cold but I could imagine that it would be quite delightful served hot.
• 6 1/2 oz Rum (Flor de Caña 4 Year Gold Rum)
• 3/4 Vanilla Bean (Tahitian)
• 13 1/2 oz Coconut Milk
• 1/2 oz Chocolate (Vivani 85% Cocao Dark Chocolate)
• 3 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and infuse in rum for 24 hours, then remove. Grate chocolate and add to coconut milk; heat while stirring until chocolate has dissolved. Combine infused rum and flavored coconut milk with simple syrup (to taste) and refrigerate. Serve in punch cups garnished with a half vanilla bean. Makes 4 servings.
So thanks to Mike for hosting this Mixology Monday and cheers to the rest of the participants this time around!