Monday, January 15, 2007

Oxford University Hot Rum Punch


The theme for this month's Mixology Monday is winter warmers. I was thinking of coffee drinks, but since we already did coffee in an earlier Mixology Monday, I wanted to cover something else. I wanted to go old school.

I was looking for a good recipe when I came across this one in Charles Baker's Gentleman's Companion. I thought this would make a great winter warmer, and Baker says it is “most excellent for anyone coming down with anything...” That sounded just about right for the cold weather we've been having.

Oxford Universiy Hot Rum Punch

1.5 bottles barbados rum
1 bottle cognac
3 quarts boiling water
2 cups lemon juice
brown sugar to taste
handful of cloves
Garnish with a spiral of lemon peel.

If you don't need to drink 25 of these, and you don't have a party coming up, you could reduce the recipe like this to make one mug:

1.5 oz barbados rum
1 oz cognac
3 oz boiling water
.5 oz lemon juice
1 barspoon brown sugar (or to taste)
a few cloves
Garnish with a spiral of lemon peel.

I wanted to see how old school this recipe was, and I found a reference in one of the original cocktail guides, Jerry Thomas' How to Mix Drinks (A Bartender's Guide), from 1887. That is old school. The recipe is a bit complicated, and I imagine that the recipe that Baker ran into on his travels was just a simplified version of this one:

Oxford Punch.

(The Punch patronized by the Students of the University of Oxford.)

Take 1 pint of Cognac brandy
1 pint of old Jamaica rum
1 quart of orange shrub*
½ pint of sherry
1 bottle of Capillaire†
2 quarts of boiling water
6 glasses of calfs-foot jelly‡
6 lemons.
4 sweet oranges.
Sufficient loaf-sugar, dissolved in some of the hot water.

Rub the rinds of three lemons with sugar to extract the essential oil. Cut the peel very fine off two more lemons and two of the oranges. Press out the juice of all the oranges and lemons. Place the whole, with the jelly, in a jug and stir well. Pour on the water, and let it stand for twenty minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl; add the capillaire, spirits, shrub, and wine, stirring well.

I'm sticking to the simplified version, but if anyone goes for the Thomas recipe, please let me know how it comes out. Keep warm all winter long with the full list of all the winter warmers over at Imbibe Unfiltered . They'll have all the links in the wrap-up.


* Orange Shrub was a potent cocktail made with oranges, sugar and rum.
† Capillaire was a sweet syrup with eggwhites and flavorings like orange-flower water or bitter almonds.
‡ Calf's-foot jelly was a gelatin made from calves feet.



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1 Comments:

Anonymous Rick said...

The footnotes were great here ... an interesting looking punch too. What else did Baker have to say about it?

4:42 PM  

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