Summer Cocktails: Roman Punch

This week:  summer cocktails to help you beat the heat of the particularly sultry summer.  Today, a refreshing glass of Roman Punch.

You can pick up a hard copy of this recipe in Edible Queens this month, but I also wanted to make it available on this blog because I really cannot endorse this drink enough.

This recipe is adapted from the first cocktail guide, Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks published in 1862.   My friends, who were my guinea pigs the first time I mixed this cocktail, demanded round after round with enthusiastic chants of “Roman Punch, Roman Punch!”

This recipe calls for a dash of Curacao; but don’t use the bright-blue version, which will turn the cocktail an unappealing shade of army green.  If you can’t find clear Curacao, Cointreau is an appropriate substitute.  You can buy commercially available raspberry syrup, or you can make it from scratch according to the recipe below.

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Roman Punch

1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 tablespoon raspberry syrup (commercially available, or made from scratch using the recipe below.)
1 teaspoon Cointreau
2 ounces dark rum
2 ounces brandy
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of port wine
Fresh raspberries or strawberries

Fill a rocks glass with crushed or shaved ice; add the first six ingredients.  Stir until the ingredients are combined.  Finish drink with a dash of port wine, and garnish with fresh raspberries or strawberry slices.

Raspberry Syrup

1 pint raspberries
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup water

Line a small saucepan with a double layer of cheesecloth; place raspberries inside and mash with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of sugar and set aside for 30 minutes. Lift cheesecloth, wrapping the raspberry mash; squeeze the mash in the cloth, allowing the juice to drain into the saucepan. Add remaining sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. To store, keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

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