Cardiff Cocktails

By Mark Holmes

Mixology Monday - Roman Punch


Thanks again to Mixology Monday for getting me into gear. This months topic has been hosted by Joseph Tkach over at Measure and Stir, an awesome blog centred around some awesome craft mixology. The topic he chose is titled ‘Garnish Grandiloquence’ and if you didn’t somehow guess it’s all about ‘the art of the garnish’. Joseph sets the task of ‘mixing up drinks where the garnish plays a central role in the experience of the drink’.

The drink which I have chose to make is not an original, but it caught my attention in Harry Johnson’s 1888 book ‘New and Improved Bartenders Manual’. Although not the first print of the recipe (one can be found in Jerry Thomas’ How to mix drinks or the bon vivants companion back in 1862, and I’m sure there are probably earlier prints) but it was this picture which made me chose it…


(picture from New and improved Bartenders Manual, H. Johnson, 1888)

If that isn’t a good garnish then I don’t know what is.

The drink itself seems to be a simplified version of Punch A La ford, a punch which Jerry Thomas quotes from Benson E. Hill’s 1842 The Epicure’s Almanac, who in turns credits the punch to ‘The late General Ford, who for many years was the commanding engineer at Dover’. But I digress.

It also could be a variation of Punch A La Romaine, a similar punch as above but with the addition of meringue, and a topic I’ll leave for another day (Although for an amazing history on Punch check out David Wondrich’s Punch; The delights (and dangers) of the flowing bowl, which personally I couldn’t put down). So without further ado here’s the recipe I used for my Roman Punch…

Roman Punch

  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1/4 oz Curacao
  • 1/4 oz Sugar syrup (1:1)
  • 1/4 oz Raspberry syrup
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice

Stir well with crushed ice using a spoon and decorate with fruits in season, here I used an orange slice, pineapple slice, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and strawberries. Serve with straws and a spoon.

I really enjoyed this drink, and it made a pretty good snack as well. If you haven’t tried mixing rum and brandy before I highly recommend it.

  • 12 November 2012
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