Some months back, I made a passing reference to the Airmail Cocktail. The Airmail deserves more attention, and what better time to talk about champagne and rum than New Year’s Eve.
Remember that drink we made as kids, the thing we so blithely called the “Suicide”? The one where you mix all the kinds of Kool-Aid you can find, pour in a couple kinds of pop, and then double-dog-dare each other to drink it?
I don’t think I ever actually took that dare. Urgent red, neon green, curaçao blue, all mixed together… that stuff looked vile. It looked dangerous.
There are many names for this version of rum, citrus and sugar: “Planter’s Cocktail,” “Jamaican Rum Punch,” and most commonly, Planter’s Punch.
Planter’s Punch is more of a drink category than a single recipe. In its simplest form—rum, sugar, lime (or lemon), water, perhaps some tea, and spice or bitters—it is clearly the direct descendant of the classic rum punches of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Continue reading “Planter’s Punch”
In the 1930s, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba was one of the world’s grandest. Rising from a rocky ridge overlooking Havana Harbor, it was new, gorgeous, and imposing. Its stately opulence attracted celebrities, politicians, gangsters, and wealthy travelers from all over the world.
And it helped to reinforce Havana’s reputation as a comfortable cocktail destination for Prohibition-weary Americans. Continue reading “Have one in Havana — the Hotel Nacional Special Cocktail”
The honey-sweetened Honey Bee cocktail is the rum variant of the Prohibition-era Bee’s Knees.
The Honey Bee is built on the standard rum sour model, but is markedly different from, say, the Daiquiri. Clearly, there is a lot of room for adjusting flavors in even the simplest of drinks. Continue reading “More mixing with honey: the Honey Bee”
Are you ready to take on one of the grandest, and most insidious, punches of all?
It’s whiskey, brandy, rum, and Champagne all bundled up together. The result is Chatham Artillery Punch, a tricksy and seductive charmer—an iron fist in a velvet glove. Continue reading “The velvet glove — Chatham Artillery Punch”
One of my neighbors threw an open-house the other day to celebrate a newly remodeled kitchen. When I arrived, he was already holding forth behind a striking, eleven-foot granite island, muddler in hand, serving up icy Caipirinhas. Just the thing for summer afternoons.
Continue reading “Ti’ Punch and the Caipirinha”