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October, 2014

  1. Again? So soon?

    October 19, 2014 by Russ

    Just last weekend, I’d mixed up so- pardon me, compounded some punch for a few friends coming in from town.  They were wise enough to give me warning and express an interest in tasty drinks, so I compounded a batch of Billy Dawson’s punch.  It’s a delicious hot punch made with an oleo-saccharum of lemon peel and demarara sugar, lemon juice, rum, cognac, arrack, and a few ounces of porter (I used Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout) over boiling water.  It’s a lovely thing, and our guests annihilated it in short order.

    Now, scarcely a week later, I get to make another punch!  Here in Columbia, we are lucky enough to in good company of other cities that host their own TEDx events.  The organizers of the event throw a few little shindigs for the selected speakers, and one of the first is the photo shoot party so that the publicity can begin.  We two here at Root and Glass are lucky enough to have been called on again to compound a punch for this party.

    Since I have been making punch for this long, and there will be a few repeat guests, I will be repeating the Regent’s Punch… to see if I’ve gotten any better at this, of course.  Not at all because I dearly love this recipe and couldn’t find a better one quick enough.  This involves more delicious rum, arrack, and cognac, but here there is pineapple syrup (steeping right now), green tea (cooling off and about to go in the fridge), champagne mixed in at the end, and this time the oelo-saccharum is made with orange and lemon peels.

    Regent's Punch
    A 200-plus-year old recipe, accredited to King George IV, when he was the crown Regent.
    Recipe type: Punch
    • Oleo-saccharum (4 oz. white sugar, peels of 2 lemons and 2 oranges)
    • 1 pint green tea
    • Juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges
    • 8 oz. VSOP cognac
    • 2 oz. Jamaican rum
    • 2 oz. Batavia arrack
    • 2 oz. maraschino liqueur or pineapple syrup
    • 2 bottles of brut champagne
    1. Prepare the oleo-saccharum
    2. Steep the green tea (2 tea bags or 2 tsp of loose leaf) for 5 minutes and add, dissolving the sugar
    3. Juice the lemons and oranges into the bowl and stir
    4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the champagne
    5. Refrigerate for an hour or two
    6. When it's time to serve, pour it into the bowl and gently stir in the champagne
    7. Yields 10 cups

    Here’s to you, TEDx Columbia!  I sure hope you and your new 2015 speakers enjoy this punch.  It’s fit for royalty.

  2. The magic ingredient

    October 9, 2014 by Russ

    Tomorrow, some dear friends are rolling in from out of town, and I’ve been eager all week. The evening will not feature Elyn’s masterful kitchen skills, but when the inquiry was made into fine drinks, my reply was “OH HELLS YES.”

    When enough people give me sufficient cause and forewarning, my first thought is punch. Yes, making individual drinks of excellence is always a pleasure, but there is something to be said for the charms of the flowing bowl. By ‘something,’ I mean a significant, tangible something. If everyone can have the same drink, and it is objectively delicious, the shared-experience factor that we are already familiar with (in this age of over-sharing) becomes a thing to be treasured and, if I do my job correctly, marveled at.

    I truly love these people coming to visit tomorrow, and what better way to show that than with a labor of love in drinkable form? I just got done prepping the oleo-saccharum, and I’m always blown away by it. I don’t think I ever want to make a punch without it.


    Be jealous of these smells.

    Also, I finally got the WordPress app to let me in! Posting on the go! Hooray for accessibility!

  3. No more screwin’ around

    October 7, 2014 by Russ

    Alright, time to get back to work. I worried for a long time about getting back to this, and if I could write content worth your time, dear reader. It took me this long to figure out that the worry was keeping me from writing AT ALL (I’m kinda dumb that way). So now, back to business.

    I will not be sacrificing quality for a mass of useless, ho-hum posts, and I will not write just for the sake of it. I refused to give up on this little write-n-drink project because, well, I’ve got a lot to say about fine drinking and about fine liquors. I’ve actually got a lot to say about crappy ones, too, for that matter. I will also not let the fear of inadequate photography slow me down. These images don’t have to look flawless; I’m not trying to pass myself off as a photographer, just a dude with a cellphone, a crazy home bar, and a lovely, talented, and supportive wife.

    It’s time to work. Of course, by work, I mean drink. Here’s to you.