overA refreshing summer punch makes a great
centrepiece at any al fresco gathering.
Here's how to get the party going...
WORDS LAURA FOSTER PHOTOS AMI KANG As the summer party season
gets into full swing and the
red up, it's
time to start thinking about
what drinks to serve your
guests. Beer and wine are
all very well, as is a jug of Pimm's, but if
you want a more exciting option that will
serve plenty of people in one fell swoop,
how about preparing a
refreshing bowl of punch?
I'm not talking about
the sort of punch that
most of us have doubtless
experienced in the past,
something involving a
washing-up bowl, some
Um Bongo and the entire contents of
your drinks cabinet - even that mystery
liqueur you picked up on holiday in
Greece - no, real punch is a carefully
balanced libation that should technically
incorporate alcohol, sugar, citrus, water
and spices. Pre-dating the invention of
the cocktail, a punch was the drink du
jour during the 17th and 18th centuries,
when it was usually made with rum,
cognac or gin.
These days, you can use all manner
of modern spirits to create a delicious
bowl that will keep a large group suitably
refreshed for some time. Speaking of
refreshment, it's essential to ensure that
your punch is perfectly chilled. Make
sure to throw in plenty of ice (buy a few
big bags), as the punch will dilute more
slowly, keeping its avour for longer.
You can scale these recipes up or
down depending on how many people
you're catering for; just ensure you have
an appropriate-sized bowl to hold it. As
for glassware, anything goes - from small
glass tumblers to pretty teacups.
If this has whetted your appetite and
you want to delve further, drinks historian
David Wondrich has a brilliant book called
Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the
Flowing Bowl (£14.13, Perigee Books).
It romps through the history of this
convivial concoction, and provi des plenty
of recipes for you to try.
The most important rule to remember,
however, is that punch goes down rather
too easily, so be sure to drink slowly if you
want to avoid feeling as if you've actually
been punched the next day…
A refreshing summer punch makes a great
1 Create a delicious bowl that
will keep a large group suitably
refreshed for some time
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