Sunday, November 27, 2016

Artillery Punch

This is a trial run of the Artillery Punch, a big bowl of punch that I intend to make for a holiday party soon. It is a good idea, when trying a punch for the first time, to make a scaled down version of the punch to test it and see if it needs tweaking. This 1/32 scale punch was excellent and supports my judgement that a good punch needs a little bit of a spice kick to counter the sweetness and citrus of all the fruit juice.

I was attracted to Artillery Punch because it uses nearly a bottle of rye and half of a bottle of dark rum. It seems it is a counter to those old Navy Punches you come across in old cocktail manuals or seafaring tales. It is strong and quick to lay you low, but easily drinkable when it comes down to finishing the bowl amidst rowdy spectators. You can see a bunch of artillery men egging each other on to drink another from the bowl, perhaps stirring it with loggerheads.

A few modifications need to be addressed. I went with port instead of red wine for a richer body for winter. Spiced rum seemed appropriate and with it I used a spiced black tea as one of the four tea bags to brew the four cups of black tea, the other three bags were Irish breakfast for their strength and blackness. Peach schnapps is an ok and noticeable substitute for apricot brandy, which you might not detect underneath everything else, but you might want to back off the proportions slightly.

Below I've included the proportions for the drink, but be warned, it is no small matter to drink this one with fewer than six people.
  • 4 cups rye (Catoctin Creek Roundstone rye used)
  • 4 cups red wine (ruby port used)
  • 2 cups dark rum (St. Croix spiced used)
  • 1 cup apricot brandy (peach schnapps used)
  • 1 cup gin (Bombay Sapphire used)
  • 4 cups black tea (Irish breakfast used plus one bag of Republic Of Tea Comfort & Joy)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 4 oz. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • several slices of lime and lemon and star anise
Combine liquid ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve on ice with pieces of fruit and garnish glasses with star anise.

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