Brandy Punch From 1935

Jun 30, 2017

Between the internet and television, I’m beginning to think we don’t know how to party like they used to! Some of these punch recipes are serious business, chocked-full of booze and ready to serve an army. Perhaps in some cases, they did serve literal armies.

Tonight’s Brandy Punch is another massive cocktail recipe. Much too big for two people. Thankfully I’ve grown accustom to resizing cocktails, though at times, I have to rely on Ryan’s math brain for assistance.

There doesn’t appear to be a single “Brandy Punch.” The criteria only seems to be the use of a Brandy, in combination with fruit juice and sugar. In addition to the juice of 15 lemons and 4 oranges, Mr. Boston’s cuts the ABV with “one or two quarts of sparkling water.” Jerry Thomas’ version sticks to fruit juice alone to lower the proof. Where Mr. Boston uses 1 glass of Grenadine, Jerry’s single serving recipe calls for 1 teaspoon full of raspberry syrup.

On the Caribbean spectrum of spirits, Mr. Boston favors Curaçao and the 1800’s recipe uses Jamaican Rum…. As you can see these really are different recipes only sharing Brandy, lemon and orange juice in common.

Since Mr. Thomas published a single serving recipe, I could have cheated and tried his drink on for size. But I thought the challenge of conversion might be more fun.

Here is what I came up with:

  • 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 ounce of fresh orange juice
  • 2/3 ounce powdered sugar (.625 ounce to be exact)
  • 1/4 ounce Curaçao
  • 1 teaspoon of Grenadine
  • 2 ounces of Apricot Brandy (the book calls for Mr. Boston Apricot Nectar)
  • 2 ounces of sparkling water

The recipe I settled on is 32 times smaller than the original and it still makes two 4 ounce cocktails. Our little punch cup held half the recipe perfectly and the touch of Grenadine gave the drink a proper pink punch hue.

This is a really nice fruity punch. I might have liked a little more sparkling water but both Ryan and I really enjoyed how it turned out. The next time we plan a large get together, this recipe is definitely going on the list. It’s a great sharable cocktail recipe that ensures the host(ess) doesn’t have to man the bar all night if they don’t want to. Bravo Mr. Cotton!