Friday, August 22, 2008

Of Punches and Cups

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Over the last few weeks I have surrendered to the fact that I am not going to get any time for pursuing anything due to my hectic schedules. Golf has suffered (haven't played for 4 weeks now), this blog has suffered (my posts have gone down) and so has my appetite for watching movies (Can you believe I still haven't seen the new Batman flick).
Therefore this resolve to fight it out and take out time to do what I enjoy doing the most ...I'll play a round of golf this weekend, make up for my posts by cooking 4-5 dishes over the weekend while I'm at home and see atleast 2 movies.
The highlight though has been the Olympics. I loved the Gold the Abhinav got and the out of the blue bronze in wrestling. But the star for me personally have been the three Pugilists who have really paved the way to make it an upcoming sport in India. Strangely did anyone notice that all the medals that we picked up were in Individual disciplines ( now is teamwork disappearing) and also in Sports that can be associated with violence ( Shooting, Wrestling, Boxing). I loved watching Akhil and Vijinder box their way to the hearts of so many Indians. They really packed a punch or two in their bouts.
Now talking about punches of the gastronomical kind - the punch is a term used loosely for mixed drinks that contain lot of fruit juice and traditionally served in Punch Bowls. Interestingly, the punch has an indian connection as the word is supposedly a derivation of the word Panj meaning Five. In olden days, the panj was an arrack based drink made with 5 ingredients and found its way to the English shores through the British East India Company and then gradually to the rest of Europe. Other stories abound about it being a derivation from the Puncheon which was a cask from which the punch bowl was made. Rum is the most popular base for Punches, though you have punches made with Brandy and wine too.
Cups though are a type of Punch are generally lower in alcohol as compared to the regular punch. The Pimms Cup is the most popular of cups. The Pimms No. 1 which is required to make the Pimms cup is a gin based beverage made with dry gin, spices, liqueur and fruit juices. It is named so because it was created by James Pimm, an English Bar Owner. it became so famous that he started mass producing it in bottles. It is supposed to be a secret recipe and has a low alcohol content. Talking of Pimms, though you have Pimms No. 1 easily available, try the Pimms No. 3 (Now available as a winter version seasonally). I love the Pimms No. 3 and find it amazing during the cold winter season. The winter version is brandy based and infused with spices and orange peel. The Pimms Cup is the traditional drink of Wimbledon. The recipe for Pimms Cup is as follows:

Pimms Cup

60 ml Pimms No. 1 Cup
180 ml Ginger Ale
60 ml Lemon soda
1 Cucumber Spear

1. Add ice in a hi-ball glass.
2. Add Pimms No. 1, then Ginger ale and finally soda.
3. Stir well and garnish with the cucumber spear.
4. Serve.

if you do not have lemon soda. Just squeeze juice of 1 lemon into the glass. You can also use 7-up instead. Both will do.

Other Pimms products besides the popular No. 1 are as follows:

Pimms No. 1 Cup- Gin based
Pimms No. 2 Cup- Whisky Based
Pimms No. 3 Cup - Brandy Based
Pimms No. 4 Cup - Rum Based
Pimms No. 5 Cup - Rye Based
Pimms No .6 Cup - Vodka Based

No.2, 4 & 5 have been phased out. No. 3 is phased out but sold as Winter edition with certain more additions. No. 6 is available in limited quantities.

Coming to Punches, the Planter's Punch is a common summer drink made with Rum. Though there are other punches that exist, Planter's punch has been extremely popular. There is infact a rhyme as to how it is made. It goes like this,
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat,
Take two sour of lime,
To one and half of sweet,
Of Old jamaica pour three strong
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong -
I know whereof I speak.
It has also been declared the 'King of rum drinks' .
My recipe is a little different from the rest, in both the way the ingredients have been used and the way it has been built ( floating rum instead of mixing it).

Planter's Punch

Ingredients :
Dark Rum - 60 Ml
Orange Juice - 60 Ml
Pineapple Juice - 60 Ml
Lemon Juice - 15 ml
Grenadine - 1 Tsp

1. Combine the juices in a shaker with ice and shake well.
2. Strain in a tall chilled glass.
3. Sink grenadine. Just pour it in and it will sink down to the bottom.
4. Using a spoon, float the rum on top.
5. garnish with a cherry or an orange slice and serve.


Alpa said...

I'll take Pimm's 1, 2 & 3. In that order. I'm going to try this cocktail out on some friends.

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