The punch bowl is a staple for any party and restaurant owner and mixologist Julie Reiner offers up a classic recipe below, just in time for holiday celebrations.
"Classic punches, something that we make a lot at Clover Club, they're really popular today especially with young people and their parties. It's like making a very large classic cocktail."
The feature of the Mount Gay Punch Royal is of course, Mount Gay Rum. First distilled in 1703, Mount Gay is crafted from rich sugar cane, aromatic molasses and coral-filtered water native to the island, and it's flavorful and smooth.
While playing bartender for your holiday guests can seem like a daunting task, Reiner assures that creating classic cocktails isn't all that difficult.
"People say 'Oh, you make the greatest cocktails.' Anybody can make great cocktails. You just need to make things fresh at home and use the right measurements. It's not that tough."
Mount Gay Punch Royal Recipe
by David Wondrich
This traditional punch recipe that serves 6-10 people incorporates lemon oil, port wine and, of course, Barbados rum, a favorite then and now. The result is rich, smooth and very festive.
- 16 oz (2 cups) Mount Gay Rum Extra Old
- 8 oz (1 cup) Ruby Port*
- The peel of 2 lemons, each cut in a ½-inch wide spiral with a vegetable peeler (try to get only the peel and not the white pith)
- 4 oz (½ cup) Superfine Sugar
- 4 oz (½ cup) Lemon Juice, fresh-squeezed (3-4 lemons)
- 16 oz (2 cups) Cold Water
- A quart-sized block of ice or large ice cubes
In a gallon-sized punch- or mixing-bowl, muddle the lemon peels and the sugar together and let sit for at least 90 minutes.
"Basically what that does is its going to release the oil that's in the lemon peel into the sugar and really give flavor to the punch," said Reiner. "If you don't do this in the same punch, it's a totally different punch."
Juice the lemons and enough more to yield 4 oz. (½ cup) of strained juice. Muddle the peels again and add the lemon juice, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rum, the wine and the water and stir again. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
To serve, add a 1-quart block of ice to punch bowl (or add large ice cubes to individual glasses) and grate ¼ of a whole nutmeg over the top. Ladle into small cups.
*A dry red wine may be used instead of the port, in which case a little more sugar may have to be added, to taste.
Julie ReinerAbout the author: Julie Reiner has been elevating the cocktail scene in NYC for the last decade, most notably with the opening of the Flatiron Lounge (2003), the Pegu Club (2005) and her latest venture, Brooklyn's Clover Club.
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