Tuesday, October 26, 2010

japanese punch

1 lump Sugar (1/2 oz Gomme Syrup)
Juice 1/2 Lime (1/2 oz)
1/2 jigger Batavia Arrack (3/4 oz van Oosten)
1/2 jigger Brandy (3/4 oz Martell VS)

Add ingredients to a cup (6 oz tea cup), fill with hot tea (3 oz strong green tea), and stir.

Two Saturdays ago right before I left for Ireland, we were in the mood for a nightcap. Andrea seemed to desire something in the hot toddy vein and found the Japanese Punch in George J. Kappeler's 1895 Modern American Drinks. Kappeler stated that this punch was usually served with cake; while we lacked dessert, we were still willing to give this one a try.
The punch's nose was mainly the Batavia Arrack with hints of something herbaceous and minty most likely from the tea. Lime and green tea on the sip were followed by Arrack notes on the swallow. Overall, the balance was a bit on the tart and astringent side due to the tea's tannins and the Arrack's harshness aiding and abetting the lime juice's crispness. If we had a slice or two of cake, this would not have been as much of an issue; perhaps increasing the sugar content to 3/4 or at most an ounce of simple syrup might improve the dessert-free presentation.

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