The Cocktail Hour Inauguration Inspiration - Punchbowls for Peace

Punch is the new martini. Punch is the rage. It's the new party drink. Okay, this just popped into my little tiny brain. (Inspiration always comes when another deadline is looming, doesn't it?)

You, like me, may be afraid to brave the potty-less city of DC where millions upon millions of citizens will be converging to celebrate this historic inauguration. (Where will they all pee?) And, you, like me, may be feeling the need for some communal celebration of the day. I don't want to watch it on TV with just the hubs and cats, much as I adore them. I mean, this is a pretty big day, dodgy appointments aside. This is a candidate that inspires me.

Thanks to HHGG!

Punchbowls for Peace

Has a ring to it, doesn't it? How about an ice ring for that punchbowl? Let's make something that is so retro it's now au courante - let's have a punchbowl at our inauguration party! The "peace" part just shows the hope he inspires in a cynic like me. I think the current Gaza invasion began on my birthday, so peace has kinda been on my mind...really, someone should tell those eejits over there that we've got enough wars going on right now, thank you very much.

But we can and should still take a moment to celebrate. Click on these links in this post for recipes and ideas.

  • To make a beautiful ice mold or ring, use a muffin pan or bundt pan, a milk or a juice carton. Freeze filled 1/4 of the way. Add fruit or clean, edible, food safe decorations, refreeze filled the rest of the way. To unmold, simply dip in warm water to release. 

Some punch-drunk tips from your Cocktail Hour host:

  1. Assuming a cold punch, make sure all ingredients are chilled.
  2. Use an ice ring or block so as not to dilute with smaller ice cubes.
  3. Check Miss Charming's blog for great ideas.
  4. Dissolve sugar in a little warm liquid first, or muddle and muddle. Better yet, make a simple syrup. These can be infused for another layer of flavor.
  5. Bubbles last: whether it's ginger ale (ha), club soda (ha, ha) or champagne (now you're talkin') add the bubbles last.
  6. Start looking at second hand stores now for an inexpensive punchbowl - we all have to watch our pennies now, don't we?

Miss Charming and the lovely ladies of LUPEC (Wassail bowl anyone?) among others, are all doing such wonderful things with Punch. And then there was the WSJ piece on Drinking the Chicago Way - Blagojovech drinks - the ImPeachitini, the Effen Blago Cocktail, the Cohasset Punch. And this piece in the LA Times where the Edison's "resident mixologist" Marcus Tello explains his punch. The only thing more tiresome than "mixologist" is the new nauseating "cocktailian" - what gives? Are we ashamed of being bartenders and drinkers?

Carolyn Cole/LA Times

Miss Charming - like a Martha Stewart of mixology - but much hotter, tells us how to make an ice punch bowl and how to protect the table. (Hint: Huggies can absorb lots of liquid..and how festive it looks Depends on how you zhuzh it.)

Origins and recent developments

The original punch -- quaffed by British sailors in traveling the globe from India and back again brought new tastes and habits with them. One import was based on the Hindi word "panch" which means 5. The drink contained five ingredients: spice, citrus, sugar, water, spirits.

Mother's Ruin - just has a ring to it, doesn't it?

And if you find punch just ain't got that zing how about the raw milk thing? Phew - now you'll see why I said "Yes, Eddie, I will judge your Raw Milk slogan contest."