This month I'm looking at cocktails and punches that can be served up to large gatherings, something we'll need as we finally head into the warm months when we tend to host more cookouts and other such parties.
• CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
When it comes to punches, you have to have something from India, where the concoction originated. ("Punch" comes from the Indian word for five, thus five ingredients are needed.) This recipe is named for a cricket team in the Indian Premier League. It comes from the Leela Kempinski resort hotel.
2 parts light rum
1 part dark rum
1 part Galliano
Dash of lime juice
Orange juice to top up
Squeeze the lime juice into a shaker with ice. Add remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a goblet with some crushed ice, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
• FISH HOUSE PUNCH
The origin, if not the name, of this concoction dates to as early as 1732. It is the official drink of what purports to be the oldest club in America, the Schuylkill Fishing Company, founded by Philadelphians with a love of fishing.
2 parts dark Jamaica rum
1 part cognac
½ part peach-flavored brandy
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 to 1½ parts (to taste) simple syrup
2 parts (more or less, to taste) water
Stir with ice and serve in a punch cup. If you make it in bulk, do so in a sizable punchbowl with a large block of ice. You may decorate the punch with thin slices of lemon.
• THE PAINKILLER
This luscious concoction comes, via the pages of Wine Enthusiast, from the island of Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands. It was dreamed up at the Soggy Dollar Bar. It also is popular on tourist-rich Tortola -- using the locally-made Pusser's Rum, especially during the 4-6 p.m. happy hour at the Bananakeet Café.
2 ounces Pusser's dark rum
1 ounce cream of coconut
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 oounce orange juice
Blend rum with juices and coconut and serve over the rocks. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.
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