With soaring summer temperatures, we all want a nice cold drink to help cool us down. Â Punch, for centuries the most popular way of drinking, was probably brought back from India and adapted by English sailors as far back as the 1500s. Â No one knows for sure, but it’s a good bet the word Punch comes from the Hindi punch, or five, for the five ingredients of a real Punch: spirits, spice, sugar, citrus, and water. Â Most of us think of fruit and citrus flavors when we hear the word punch, but this cocktail is a slightly more exotic take that combines Brandy with vanilla syrup. Â Punch has sadly long fallen out of favor, but maybe trying this delicious Vanilla Punch will inspire you to bring it back. Â â€“ Andrew
Read below for the full recipe!
2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup
Grab two tumblers; fill one with lots of crushed ice and leave the other empty. Â Add all of the ingredients to the ice-filled glass, then pour the whole mix back and forth between the two tumblers a few times. Â (Alternatively, you can also use a shaker and pour the whole contents, broken-up ice and all, into a tumbler, but you won’t get nicely crushed ice this way). Â Garnish with a lemon slice or two and enjoy!
This is a very simple but surprisingly tasty recipe from the mid-1800s, sweet and tart, rich from the smooth, oaky Brandy and the spicy vanilla from the syrup. The original recipe calls for using vanilla extract, but I love the bold, somewhat exotic flavors of using real vanilla bean to make my syrup.
To make Vanilla Syrup, bring two cups of water close to a boil in a sauce pan, then remove from the heat and stir in two cups of sugar (use a turbinado or other raw sugar). Â Put the syrup back on low heat and add in a vanilla bean split lengthwise. Â Let this simmer for a good long while, stirring frequently, at least until it has reduced by a quarter, to extract all that vanilla flavor. Â Strain out the bean debris, pour the syrup into a bottle, and let it cool.
You can crush ice in a blender, but the best way is probably to use a Lewis Bag and a hammer or a mallet. Â A Lewis Bag is basically a heavy-duty cotton sack that soaks up the extra water as you crush ice; you can buy one online or do what I did, cut off the leg of an old pair of jeans and sew up one end. Â Fill it up with ice, put it on a sturdy surface, and take out all your frustrations bashing that ice to smithereens.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper