Sunday, September 2, 2012
Exhibit #111: Oxford Punch Jelly
One of the more refined and involved punches in the canon, this one was popular at Oxford University in the early 19th century. It consists of cognac (Martell VSOP), rum (Appleton Estate Reserve), orange shrub (a sweetened rum infused with orange peels and spices (we used the very fine one by Clement in Martinique), dry white wine, the juice and oils of several lemons and a few oranges, water, and most importantly…gelatin. Although not used in enough quantity to make the punch set (although some did – the modern “jello shot” dates back to this same period), it does lend body and smoothes out the flavors into one lush canvas. In terms of taste, it’s not far removed from a Sidecar or Between the Sheets, yet is somehow much more. Not to be missed.
Top shelf, and built on the rocks, as it was initially made: Old Raj dry gin, Carpano Antica vermouth, and Campari with an orange peel.
Queen Mother $6.50
A favorite of Queen Elizabeth II, who has one before lunch every day, as did her own mother. Two parts Dubonnet to one part gin, on the rocks, with a lemon slice underneath the ice.
Shandy Gaff $5
The Shandy is actually a fairly old drink, dating from the mid 19th century when Irish ginger ale began being sold in England: equal parts pale ale (we’ll stretch this a little and use Founders Centennial IPA) and Vernor's ginger ale - one of the few extant ginger ales that remains close to the original Irish style - golden colored from aging in oak along with a more pronounced ginger flavor and a bit sweeter than the 'dry' style of today.
Vieux Carre $9
An old New Orleans favorite that we often return to: equal parts cognac, rye whiskey and dry vermouth, dashed with Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters, topped with a wee bit of Benedictine, on the rocks.