In this time of festive cheer, Hendrick’s Gin, proprietor of the exquisite and unusual, has partnered with the most esteemed of cocktail creators to offer a solution to Christmas entertaining quandaries, and in doing so bring to your attention the almostforgotten mastery of punch.
At a time of year when merriment with those dearest and nearest is at the forefront of our festive schemata, punch brings people together: It is a truth self-evident that everyone sharing the same quaff has a most charming effect on the atmosphere of a room.
Dismissed by most, punch often reminds people of their first fumbles into the world of alcohol, and terrible concoctions of almost poisonous presence. But this most certainly does not have to be the case, for in times past, punch was the quintessential drink for many, as expounded in hazy Victoriandescriptions of bowls of punch that “awaken in the soul all the finer emotions of sensibility and friendship.”
Even the great Charles Dickens took pleasure in making and serving punch at home, with the ritual worthy of Mr Micawber himself as documented in David Copperfield, “he stirred, and mixed, and tasted, and looked as if he were making, instead of punch, a fortune for his family down to the latest posterity.”
Over the Christmas period, why not partake in the ritual of punch, providing a shared experience of drinking that few other drinks can claim. There really is no better way to share the chronicles of life and subsequent laughter than around a bowl of enchanting punch!
And so with that, Hendrick’s has but a few things left to say, recipes namely:
Eden Special Fizz, Created by Jason Scott of the Bramble Bar, Edinburgh
500ml Hendrick’s Gin
250ml Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
150ml home made cherry liqueur or Cherry Heering (to taste)
1 bottle champagne
Steep sliced lemon rounds in the first 3 ingredients overnight. Pour into punch bowl filled with ice and add champagne just before service.
Glass: champagne saucer
Garnish: lemon rounds
Hendrick’s Purl, Created by Tristan Stephenson of Purl, London
150ml Hendrick’s Gin
1 litre of good quality hoppy ale 200ml cloudy apple juice 5 slices of satsuma 1 cinnamon stick 90g sugar 5g hops 2 cloves 1 dessert spoon honey 2 large splashes of Angostura Bitters 1 whole star anise
Heat ingredients in a pan. Simmer for 20 minutes then strain the hops out and serve with satsuma slices and a stick of cinnamon to garnish.
Garnish: Satsuma slices and cinnamon stick
Mr Micawber’s Favourite, Hot Gin Punch
Created by Hendrick’s British Ambassador Duncan McRae, a subtly tweaked recipe inspired by Dickens’ very own recipe from David Copperfield
Three full teacups of Hendrick’s Gin
Another three of Madeira wine
Pinch grated nutmeg
Large teaspoon of cinnamon powder
Two teaspoons brown sugar
Six large lemon and orange twists
Small slice orange
One fresh pineapple
Four large spoons honey
Juice of two lemons
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and place on the heat. Let the concoction simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste, adding lemon or honey depending on whether you prefer sweet or sour. When it’s ready, pour into a teapot and serve in teacups or alternatively in a traditional punch bowl. This punch can be reheated should you wish to prepare it prior to a gathering. This punch is best simmered for half an hour or more– allowing the pineapple time to soften and caramalise. Pineapples (one of the most exotic ingredients one could get hold of) would have been a real treatduring the Victorian Era, making this punch a genuine celebration.