This week's column is devoted to alleviating election stress with a knockout punch, assisted by the great pioneer mixologist Jerry Thomas, circa 1887. Thomas was not only a talented bartender, he was a great aggregator of recipes, collecting hundreds in his Bar-Tender's Guide (reprinted in 2008 by Ross Bolton) for "All Kinds of Sangarees, Mulls, Toddies, Slings, Sours, Juleps, Smashs [sic], Cobblers, Cocktails" -- and Punch, lots and lots of Punch.
From Jerry Thomas Bar-Tenders Guide 1887 Reprint; image reproduced with
permission from Ross Bolton.
For centuries, punch -- booze and flavorings in a bowl, on ice (or warm, occasionally) -- was the nation's preferred mode of imbibing, until roughly the latter half of the nineteenth century, when spirits finally got good enough not to require so much camouflage. Thomas's recipe collection includes the Spread Eagle Punch, the Bimbo Punch, Mississippi, Canadian, and West Indian Punches, Punches named for hotels and cities and saints, Punches named for the 7th Regiment, the 69th Regiment, and the Light Guard, whose fighting strength, after a bowl of Punch, was no doubt considerably reduced.More »