Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the alderman's punch

1 pint Hot Green Tea (4 oz)
1/2 pint Brandy (2 oz Pedro Domecq Fundador Solera Reserva)
1/2 pint Rum (2 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados)
1 wineglass Curaçao (1/2 oz Senior's Curaçao of Curaçao)
Juice 2 Lemons (3/4+ oz)
Peel of 1 Lemon (1/4)
Powdered Sugar to taste (3/4 oz Simple Syrup)
A 6d Pot of Red Currant or Guava Jelly (~1 oz Guava Jelly)
If the punch is too strong, add more tea.

To make this punch, I boiled water and added the tea bag and lemon peel. After a few minutes, I added the guava jelly cube (very pectin-rich) to melt it in the warm tea infusion. After removing the tea bag, I added the rest of the ingredients, shook without ice, and double strained into a pair of punch cups (the full-sized recipe would make about 8 punch cups worth). Since no secondary heating step was suggested, I served this punch lukewarm. I also could not determine how much jelly could be purchased for that amount of money back in 1871 (unless 'd' is a volume such as a fluid drachm or dram (1/8 oz)).
When I spotted the Alderman's Punch in the Gentleman's Table Guide from 1871, it seemed rather delightful with the split base spirit of rum and brandy spiced with green tea. However, when I spied the guava jelly in the ingredients list, I was immediately sold. Indeed, this recipe would make great use of the jelly I bought a few months ago to make Jerry Thomas' Barbadoes Punch. After parsing through the recipe and mixing up a batch, I was quite pleased with how the guava entered the aroma along with the Barbados rum. The guava next appeared in the sip where it joined the lemon in a sweet but sharp citrus flavor. The jelly also donated a luxurious mouthfeel on the sip from its high pectin content. Finally, the rum, brandy, and green tea notes rounded out the swallow. Moreover, the punch had an interesting spice note to it that I could not place, but I presumed it was from the warmed spirits.

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