Friday, June 3, 2011

Exhibit #66: Of Planters and Punches

Planter's Punch is an old drink for which no definitive recipe exists beyond an old rhyme for house slaves: "one part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong, four parts weak." The base spirit is rum, but beyond that anything goes. Like the Daiquiri, Planter's Punch is easily dimensionalized by using multiple ingredients for any of the parts (e.g.-instead of using sugar one could subsititute a liqueur and/or juices.)

Tonight's drinks, with the exception of the Ward 8, come from tiki fountainhead Donn Beach and were created between the mid 1930s and 1950s. Although all are based on Planter's Punch, each takes a slightly different tack and illustrates Donn's endless capacity for variation (and eminently drinkable higher-gravity drinks!) All begin with his signature building blocks: darker rums with a little bit of Pernod and a dash of Angostura.

Beachcomber's Punch $7
El Dorado 12yr demerara rum, apricot liqueur, lime and grapefruit juices, simple syrup, Pernod, Angostura, crushed ice.

Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch $13
A big drink with a 4 ounce liquor payload, though you'd never think it was strong from the flavor: dark Jamaican rum, gold Barbados rum, gold Puerto Rican rum, Falernum, pineapple and lime juices, ginger beer, Pernod and Angostura, crushed ice. May be split between two persons on request.

Don's Beach Planter $7
Barbancourt pure cane golden rum (8yr) with a wee bit of both dark Jamaican rum and cognac, lime and pineapple juices, passion fruit syrup, Pernod, Angostura, crushed ice.

Ward 8 $11
We had this one last week, but people liked it so much we're running it again. And also because I've seen a few local variations on the drink, yet the original is not often served, let alone at its original proportions. A double pour of rye whiskey, lemon and orange juices, pomegranate syrup and a hint of mint, served in a beer goblet with a single large piece of ice. It is essentially a more elaborate whiskey sour writ large. The drink dates from early 20th century Boston and has some alleged ties to vote-buying. "After just one, you're ready to vote right!"

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