Friday, May 22, 2009

Making punch

You heard about our time-line project, and now you get to hear about the punch that we served at our reception. It was so popular I thought I should share the recipe here. Besides, it's fun to record some of these little wedding projects for future reflection.

We always knew that we would serve wine (made by my dad) and beer (made by Phillips Beer), but we also wanted a signature cocktail. The process of finding an easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing drink became a little frustrating, and we almost bailed, but then Jen emphasized the importance of having a hard liquor option for those that don't drink wine and beer. I'm glad she said something, because it forced me to admit that, like Jen, Michael and I are those people; we always opt for a good cocktail. I'm also glad because the punch was one of the most popular treats at the wedding, and it made for some entertaining dance moves.

Then there's the fact that Jen's penchant for hard liquor identified her as the perfect candidate for cocktail-making duties, which she took on with enthusiasm (check out the apron!). It was Jen's idea to simplify the task by making a bowl of punch. Thanks for your help, friend!

After our enthusiasm for a cocktail was renewed, I contacted Chris Johns, a friend with some serious food and drink knowledge, for some ideas. One of his suggestions, red Dubonnet served with a high quality sparkling lemonaid over ice, was especially appealing. Dubonnet is sweet aromatic French red or white wine used chiefly as an aperitif. We did some research, and we found out that the late Queen Mom preferred her Dubonnet like this: 30% gin and 70% Dubonnet served with a slice of lemon under the ice.

I was always leaning towards a gin drink anyway, so this is what I wanted to hear. We experimented with a few different combos, and this is what we came up with:

Michael and Erin's Punch Drunk Love (makes one drink)

Gin 1 oz (30 ml)
Dubonnet 1/2 oz (15 ml)
Tonic 5 oz (150 ml)
Lime juice 1/3 oz (10 ml)
Lime to garnish

Let me know if you have other Dubonnet suggestions; we still have some in the liquor cabinet.


Lydia said...

I was thinking about skipping the hard liquor option, but now you've made me reconsider. I was going to just get a big bottle of vodka, which we could mix with juices or club soda. Do you really think punch is easier though? Someone always has to mix it, and I just think of punch bowls as kind of sticky and messy.

Jen said...

Ah yes. The punch! I'm glad there was one, although I sampled my wares a bit more than I should have, and had a bit of a slow day the next day!

I have to say, being the punch mixer was really fun, and the actual results were delicious. Lydia - maybe there's a measurer in your wedding group who has an apron lying around? (I would definitely recommend an apron!)

As for the punch bowl vs per serving option, here are my thoughts, mostly related to ease and tidyness:

There is a bit of spilling involved with mixed drinks, and tonic is sticky, as we know, so I felt like it worked well to keep those refilling/spilling opportunities to a minimum. If spilling was going to occur at E/M's wedding, I was likely going to be the one to do it. People can handle a punch bowl and ladle, but as the night goes on, having everyone (free)pouring might be a bit more chaos than necessary. Having a maker sort of contains those sorts of things.

I'm pretty sure that the punch bowl option worked out well in terms of clean-up. As long as there are napkins around, a stable table, and plenty of glasses available, you're halfway there.

I especially liked at the end of the night being told forcefully (by siblings of the happy couple) that tonic was NOT required, and WHERE was the gin? Clearly, 12 litres was not enough! Hahah!

Erin said...

Um, I have an apron, Lydia ;)

Lydia said...

I have an apron, but no punch bowl! I do have a designated bartender, so there wouldn't be free pouring. Maybe what I should do is ask her what she prefers. Thanks so much for the advice, Jen!

Jen said...

But of course!

Congratulations also, Lydia! Punch or no punch...these are good problems to have!