Cocktail Trials: The House Punch

Mixing up punch

Like many thing, a good punch is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration

My husband has been arguing that our house needs its own punch. Every home needs some basics, he says, like an address, a bathroom, some furniture  … and an official punch recipe.

Greg, a huge Alton Brown fan, was inspired by the celebrity chef’s show on punches. In the episode, Brown points out that back in the day, all clubs had their own punch.  Liking the idea of my living room being transformed into an 19th century gentleman’s’ club complete with leather armchairs chairs and a library of well-worn books, I agreed to try the punch.

What Makes a Good Punch?

Armed with Alton’s golden ratio for punches,  I hit the grocery store drink aisle and gathered a selection of beverages that I thought would go well with gin, our house’s favorite liquor.

Here were our contenders (along with the ration Alton recommends).

1 of Sour (Key lime juice / Trader Joe’s sparkling limeade)

2 of Sweet (pinapple juice, sweet tea, Sprite)

3 of Strong (gin)

4 of Weak (a lager, club soda, Sprite, sweet tea)

Our Combinations:

The first contender: Lime juice, Sprite, gin and lager

The second contender: Limeade, pineapple, gin and sweet tea

The third contender: Lime juice, pinapple, gin and lager.

The Verdict

We ended up liking none of the punches at first. Our mixes had a Goldilocks complex; numbers 1 and 3 were too sour and number 2 was too sweet. To fix this, we added sweet tea to the number 3 brew, messing up the sacred ratio (sorry, Alton!). This also had the fortunate affect of making that punch a bit less potent.

Although tasty, the mix, with its pineapple juice and lime juice and sweet tea, is a very summery drink. We may need to try this again in the fall to produce a punch for the winter season.

The final punch ended up being:

1 key lime juice

2 pinapple juice

3 gin

2 a light lager (we used Corona)

2 sweet tea

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