Sunday, April 5, 2009

cold ruby punch

1 oz Batavia Arrack
1 oz Port Wine (Ramos Pinto Ruby Port)
1 1/2 oz Green Tea
1/2 oz Sugar (by weight, ~1/2 oz by volume with Florida Crystals)
3/8 oz Lemon Juice
2 pieces Pineapple (frozen)

Dissolve sugar in tea after steeping and while still warm; cool tea syrup. Muddle pineapple. Add rest of ingredients and ice, shake, and strain into a punch cup.

While Andrea was cooking dinner on Friday night, I decided to make a punch that I spotted in Jerry Thomas' Bartender's Guide from 1862 (online here). The Cold Ruby Punch stood out because I was in the mood for a fortified wine like port or sherry and this one had that and Batavia Arrack! The original recipe I modified and scaled back to a two serving size (double the above recipe) is as follows:
Cold Ruby Punch.
Take 1 quart of Batavia Arrack.
1 quart of Port wine.
3 pints of green tea.
1 pound of loaf-sugar.
Juice of six lemons.
1/2 of a pineapple cut in small pieces.

Dissolve the sugar in the tea, add the other materials.
Serve iced.
The only ingredient note not listed above was that the green tea we used was from Japan where Andrea purchased it on a business trip a few years back. The pineapple and the sweetness were rather evident on the first part of the sip, the Arrack was very noticeable in the middle, and the green tea stood out on the swallow. The tea and the Arrack made for a great flavor combination, while the port served to take the edge off the Arrack. Andrea was rather pleased with the results and thought that it was one of her favorite punches ever. She agreed with my assessment that we could have backed off on the sugar but the sweetness level was not egregious. While the punch worked well on its own, it stood up to and complemented Andrea's tortellini and rich mushroom sauce.
Cheers from Fred & Andrea of CocktailVirgin!

1 comment:

erik.ellestad said...

That's interesting. I've never given much thought to wine based punches, but recently made a wine and arrack based punch from the Savoy Cocktail Book and rather enjoyed it:

NUREMBERG PUNCH. (For a party of 15.)
Take 3/4 of a pound of loaf sugar; squeeze upon it, through muslin, the juice of two or more good- sized oranges; add a little of the peels cut very thin, pour upon a quart of boiling water, the third part of that quantity of Batavia Arrack, and a bottle of hot, but not boiling, Red or White French Wine -- Red is best. Stir together. This is excellent when cold, and will improve with age.