Long before punch became synonymous with American frat parties, with its questionable sickly, sweet mix of alcohol and fruit, it was actually the invention of the ultimate drinkers, the 17th century sailors of the East India Company. It was said that they would drink in the region of ten pints a day, but as they reached hotter temperatures, the beer became rancid and flat. So once a shore they set about making a drink using spices and sugar and just like that punch was born. They brought it back it to England et voila.
Now Punch Room, the award-winning bar at The London EDITION is launching a new punch menu, ‘The Five’ which is divided into the five ingredients traditionally used to create punch: spirit, water and tea, citrus, sugar and spice. Created by bar manager David Segat, the menu will start with a witty foreword from Jake Burger of Portobello Road Gin and The Ginstitute before going into the history of the punch.
In the spirit section you’ll find the Closer to God Punch made from Del Maguey, Chichicapa Mescal, Cocchi Americano, white wine, lime juice and chamomile soda – drink enough of that and you probably will be that bit closer. The citrus punches are sharper and will wake up your palate and we’ve got our eye on the Soldier’s Camping Punch in the sugar section made from maple syrup, Copper Dog Whisky, cold brew coffee and Montenegro foam. If you’re feeling more experimental, then there is the Curious & Curiouser section, which includes the English Milk Punch, which has quite the ingredients list, ready? Havana 3 Rum, Van Oosten Batavia Arrack, Somerset cider brandy, Hennessy Fine de Cognac, milk oolong tea, pineapple, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, orris, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon juice and full fat milk.
Now’s your chance to try a proper punch rather than some concoction your friends knocked together haphazardly.