Saturday, 17 November, 2012

The Punch Brothers are a rum lot. Their mandolinist, Chris Thile, is especially talented. Last month, he was given a MacArthur Fellowship worth a cool $500,000. That should buy him lots of punch if he ever gets a winter cold. The Irish cure for such an ailment, by the way, is a drink called “punch”. It’s a straightforward mix of whiskey with sugar, a slice of lemon, cloves and enough boiling water to make it hot. In the 18th century, before the Irish developed a love of porter, they consumed punch morning, noon and night. The country was literally punch-drunk most of the time.

How to make punch aka “hot whiskey”

Glass of punch • Cut a lemon wheel in half and stud the white pith between the flesh and the peel with 3 or 4 cloves.

• Rinse out a whiskey glass with hot water to warm it. This is as essential step.

• Add 1 tsp demerara sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

• Add a decent measure of Powers whiskey (Jameson and Paddy are acceptable substitutes) and the lemon slice. Sláinte!

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