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Is there something extra celebratory, festive, or charmingly retro than a bowl of punch? In his new e-book, Treatment: New Orleans Drinks and The best way to Combine ‘Em, Neal Bodenheimer paperwork New Orleans’ most well-known cocktails, a lot of which he serves at his bar of the identical title—together with the St. Charles Punch. It’s one thing you possibly can drink any time of yr, however the punch’s ruby-red hue and easy-going angle are notably well-suited for ringing within the New 12 months.
The aptly-named drink bought its begin as the home cocktail on the opulent St. Charles Lodge. “When its house owners first welcomed visitors to 201 St. Charles Avenue in 1837, their ambition was to function the best luxurious resort within the nation, if not the world,” writes Bodenheimer of the unique establishment. The recipe for the resort’s signature drink was first recorded a few many years later in 1862, when it was featured in Jerry Thomas’ The best way to Combine Drinks: Or, A Bon-vivant’s Companion—a quantity extensively thought of to be the primary cocktail e-book within the nation.
Sometimes, St. Charles Punch consists of port, brandy, lemon juice, and easy syrup, however the model served at Treatment veers barely from custom. As an alternative of a normal easy syrup, Bodenheimer doubles down on the citrus taste with a lemon and orange oleo syrup. He additionally provides Angostrura bitters to provide the combination of ruby port, cognac, and citrus juice some spicy depth.
So, why does the St. Charles Punch make such an excellent vacation drink? “I believe that vacation drinks, notably in colder climates, must have some weight and texture,” argues Bodenheimer. “A pleasant aged brandy and textured ruby port can create one thing wealthy [and] luxurious, but in addition refreshing.”
Furthermore, it’s a drink that may be made otherwise relying in your preferences—and the variety of folks you’re anticipating. In line with Bodenheimer, “the punch will be constructed as a single cocktail or made in a traditional punch type utilizing a conventional punch base of citrus peels and sugar,” that means hosts don’t essentially must play bartender at some stage in the night.
He places it extra bluntly within the e-book. “There are such a lot of methods to make this drink, and actually, they’re all good,” Bodenheimer writes. “Hell, it’s a punch, so why not scale it up, add some dilution, and serve it party-style in a punch bowl over an enormous block of ice?” Sounds good to us.
It doesn’t matter what you select to serve, Bodenheimer has a number of phrases of knowledge for hosts this New 12 months’s Eve: “Make sure that your home feels good and the lighting is correct,” he says. “Play festive music that will get folks shifting (a bit of New Orleans oldies combine by no means disappoints),” and—most significantly—“be heat, gracious, [and] welcoming.”
What are you serving this NYE? Tell us within the feedback!