When we think about a sunny afternoon and we're looking for a social yet nostalgic way to connect, food and drink is always top of mind.
So, it's no surprise that punch and punch bowls are making their way onto the cocktail menus. Shane Mulvany, head bartender at the Shangri-la Hotel Toronto and a world class bartender winner, is excited about launching a punch menu for the hotel's Bosk patio this summer. (Of course, we can't wait for summer, so we asked Mulvany to give us a few summer cocktail recipes to start.) It follows the trend of sharing plates, like mezes or tapas; now it's about sharing the drinks, too.
"Punch" is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning the number five. The original drink, from India and brought to England via the British East India Company, was made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea or spices.
In England, at the London EDITION hotel in Fitzrovia, just up from Oxford Street, they've dedicated a whole bar to the idea of punch. Yes, it's called the Punch Room, and it's very sexy – no hint of great Auntie's punch parties held for baby showers and the like. These concoctions – 30 of them, in all! – feature bespoke ingredients, just as the interior of the intimate room features tailored, tufted banquettes in a rich teal blue, leather nail head-trimmed club chairs and an oak-paneled corner bar. The lighting is ambient, too, everyone looks good in the room (above), and it wouldn't be hard to imagine Don Draper having a high-powered meeting here. And, yes, he'd probably order the punch, too, while coolly grooving to the vintage soul soundtrack. I did say it was sexy.
Luckily for us, the mixologists at the Punch Room have shared their signature recipe, EDITION Punch. But we suggest you try it while you're in London; the lovely staff brings it in a copper bowl and serves it tableside. Just make sure you call ahead to reserve a table, as the after-5 crowd stakes its place early.
Next: The Pie
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