Serious Eats: Recipes

Drink the Book: Garrick Club Punch

[Photograph: Marleigh Riggins Miller ]

We have five (5) copies of Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl to give away this month.

After a wild and wet winter in the most of the country, it appears that spring is finally springing, which means that Easter brunch and Passover tables are not too far in the future—and backyard cookouts are inching ever nearer. While I could never say that there is no room for dark liquor in warm weather, gin seems always somehow more appropriate in the spring with its lovely herbal, floral and citrus notes.

The Garrick Club Punch from Dave Wondrich's Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl takes full advantage of the brightness of gin, incorporating it into a sweetened maraschino base spiked with fresh lemons. This recipe was printed in the London Quarterly circa 1835, four years after the Garrick Club was founded and made famous for their signature gin punch. The overall flavor of the punch is very much like a Tom Collins, underscoring the malty notes of genever with tart lemon and sweet, almond-like maraschino.

Wondrich notes that either a Holland or Old Tom gin would have been used at the time, and "Either way, it's a damn tasty drink." If you choose an Old Tom, look for Hayman's or Ransom brands; if you decide on a genever (as I did), use Bols Genever or find an oude style, as opposed to a corenwijn or jonge whose assertive flavor profiles will not play nicely here. If neither of those styles of gin are available near you, I'm sure this would still be lovely with a flavorful London Dry or Western style gin—Martin Miller's, Beefeater, Tanqueray No.10, or even Aviation or Port of Barcelona for a different take. Any way you mix it, be sure you chill your soda water in advance, and be sure to freeze an ice mold or use plenty of ice in this one to get the proper Garrick Club effect.

About the author: Marleigh Riggins Miller writes and photographs for SLOSHED!, a website about cocktails, spirits, home bartending, and entertaining.

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