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Spring & Summer Cocktails: The BarBack Guy's "Watermelon Rhubarb Punch"

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This is the "Watermelon-Rhubarb-Punch", the latest cocktail creation in our newest series: Spring & Summer Cocktails.

Spring & summer are the optimal times to enjoy a refreshing "made-from-scratch" punch cocktail because the fresh fruit ingredients are in their prime. 

As in all of our "Original" recipes, we typically craft our cocktails using The BarBack Tool in as many ways possible.

We appreciate all of our fans who have wisely adopted The BarBack as their regular beverage service tool.

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The Original's "Watermelon Rhubarb Punch" is a refreshing blend of home made citrus sweet & sour juice mix, fresh pressed watermelon juice, rhubarb drinking vinegar, premium vodka, red table wine, orange curaçao, fresh squeezed lemon, and topped with Saratoga Sparkling Spring Water. We also used Blinders Vodka, from Upstate Distilling Co.

At The Original BarBack Tool Company, we always use the freshest ingredients and strive to use locally made beverage products. We are based out of Saratoga County in Upstate NY and love to use Saratoga Sparkling Spring Water in our carbonated cocktails, whenever possible. 

This cocktail was inspired by the various classic Punch "style" cocktails around the globe.

Punch is the term for a wide assortment of drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic, generally containing fruit or fruit juice. The drink was introduced from India to the United Kingdom in the early seventeenth century, and from there it's common use spread to other countries. 

Punch is typically served at parties in large, wide bowls, known as punch bowls.
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Essentially all cocktails have numerous "creation stories" and legends.  A punch has come to be defined as such, if it has the elements of: “one sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak”.

Translated this implies that "one third" of the mixture should have alcohol.

The "traditional Punch recipe" concept can be attributed to inspiring many "spin-off" categories over the years. There are some historians who believe the sour category is a scaled down version of the basic punch. The same could also be said about the"collins" style cocktail, or the "fizz" for that matter.

It is not difficult to find out some origin stories for the classic punch. Below we have outlined what we deemed most interesting and noteworthy.

A Bit Of History...

The word punch is a loanword from Sanskrit meaning "five", as the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices.

The drink was brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early seventeenth century. From there it was introduced into other European countries. When served communally, the drink is expected to be of a lower alcohol content than a typical cocktail.

The term punch was first recorded in British documents in 1632. At the time, most punches were of the wassail type made with a wine or brandy base. But around 1655, Jamaican rum came into use and the 'modern' punch emerged. By 1671, documents make references to punch houses.

Today, soft drink manufacturers distribute many types of "fruit punch" beverages. These are usually red colored drinks. Despite the name, most brands contain only a small fraction of actual fruit juice, the major constituents being sugar or corn syrup, citric acid, and artificial flavors.


Around the world...

Fruit Punch 

In the USA, Punch bowl style parties traditionally are extremely common among college and university students. These punches tend to be highly alcoholic and made with cheap ingredients. 

In Chile, Punch is a mix between white wine and different kind of fruits, like diced canned peaches.

In Germany, Punch (Punsch in German) refers to a mixture of several fruit juices and spices, often with wine or liquor added. Punch is popular in Germany and with many Germans who emigrated to America. It often includes a Feuerzangenbowle ("Burnt Punch" or, literally, "Fire Tongs Bowl"). This is a punch made of red wine and flaming rum, poured over a Zuckerhut (meaning: sugarloaf), a large conical sugar cube placed in the "Feuerzange".

In Korea, Hwachae, Sujeonggwa is a traditional punch made from dried persimmons, cinnamon, and ginger. 

In Mexico, Ponche is served during the Christmas holiday season, and it is served warm. According to historians ponche came to Mexico from Persia, where they used to consume a very similar drink they called "panch," made with water, lemon, herbs, sugar and rum. This tradition migrated to Europe and acquired the name "punch," known in Spain as "ponche." Some ingredients used to make ponche are more seasonal and even exotic. Fresh tejocotes, known to the Aztecs as Texocotli (stone fruit) are de rigueur. Tejocotes are the fruit of the hawthorn tree, and resembles crab apples; they have a sweet-sour flavor and an orange to golden yellow color. Other ingredients in ponche are prunes, pears, dry hibiscus, star anise, and sugar cane pieces.

Agua loca ("crazy water") is a very sweet punch usually made from fermented sugarcane, mezcal or tequila mixed with "aquas frescos" (usually aqua de Jamaica or horchata). Due to its sweetness, the drinker may not taste the alcohol and become intoxicated more quickly than anticipated. This drink is popular on college campuses as an inexpensive means of becoming intoxicated.

Other Variations...

Non-alcoholic varieties, which are especially given to children as well as adults who do not drink alcohol, typically include a mix of some fruit drink such as juice, water, and a sweetener like sugar.

Southern bourbon punch is a drink closely associated with Kentucky and other Southern States, sweet bourbon punch is made with sweet tea (a signature drink of the South), citrus flavors and bourbon whiskey. Bourbon is named for Bourbon County, Kentucky, and each year during the Kentucky Derby, recipes for bourbon punch abound.

Cups are another type of punch, traditionally served before the departure of a hunting party in England, but now served at a variety of social events such as garden parties, cricket, tennis matches, and picnics, cups are generally lower in alcohol content than other punches and usually use wine, cider, sloe gin or liqueurs as the base. They often include quantities of fruit juices or soft drinks. 

Probably the most well known cup is the Pimms Cup, using Pimms №1 and British-style lemonade at a ratio of 1:2; a squeeze of lemon; then add orange, lemon and apple slices; a couple of cucumber wedges; and decorate with edible flowers.

Rum punches are rum-based punches like the Planter's Punch, Fish House Punch, Bajan Rum Punch, Caribbean Rum Punch, and others of the sort.

The most historical rum punch is the Bajan Rum Punch, which is no longer popular but history records it as the first of it's kind. Bajan (Barbadian) Rum Punch is one of the oldest rum punches and has a simple recipe enshrined in the rhyme mentioned earlier in this blog: "One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak." That is: one part lime juice, two parts sweetener, three parts rum (preferably Barbados), and four parts water. It is served with a dash or two of Angostura Bitters and nutmeg. 

The Planters Punch is hands down the most popular punch recipe handed down through the last 100+ years. The recipe of Planter's Punch varies, containing some combination of rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, orange juice, grenadine soda water, curaçao, Angostura bitters, and cayenne pepper

Planter's Punch was invented at the bar of the Planters' House hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. The first known print reference to Planter's Punch was in the August 8, 1908 edition of The New York Times, historians have reported.



THE ORIGINAL'S "WATERMELON-RHUBARB-PUNCH
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YOU WILL NEED:

-A BARBACK TOOL

-ONE PINT MIXING GLASS

-ONE LARGE SHAKER TIN

-A HAWTHORNE DRINK STRAINER

-A FINE SCREENED STRAINER

-ONE LARGE ROCKS GLASS

-HONEY SOUR JUICE MIX (SEE SECRET RECIPE BELOW)

-HIGH QUALITY VODKA

-ORANGE CURACAO

-RED TABLE WINE (12% ABV OR BETTER)

-FRESH WATERMELON

-RHUBARB VINEGAR

-ONE FRESH LEMON

-ICE

*This cocktail is shaken, strained over fresh ice in a large rocks glass.

  1. MUDDLE ONE LARGE PIECE OF WATERMELON INTO PINT MIXING GLASS.
  2. ADD 2 OUNCES OF HONEY-SOUR MIX, 2 OUNCES OF VODKA, AND 2 OUNCES OF RED WINE, AND MUDDLE AGAIN
  3. ADD 3/4 OUNCES OF CURACAO, 1/4 OUNCE OF RHUBARB VINEGAR AND JUICE OF ONE HALF OF A FRESH LEMON.
  4. NEXT, INTO THE PINT MIXING GLASS, ADD ICE AND CAP MIXING GLASS WITH SHAKER TIN. SHAKE VIGOROUSLY FOR 30 SECONDS.
  5. NEXT, DOUBLE STRAIN USING A HAWTHORNE STRAINER AND A FINE SCREEN STRAINER TO POUR THE MIXTURE INTO THE ICE FILLED ROCKS GLASS.
  6. THE FINISHED POUR LEVEL SHOULD BE ONE STRAW WIDTH FROM THE RIM OF THE GLASS.

    GARNISHES:
  7. PLACE A TRIANGULAR PIECE OF WATERMELON DECORATIVELY ON THE RIM OF THE ROCKS GLASS. USE THE BARBACK TOOL GARNISH KNIFE TO SAFELY CARVE CUSTOM SHAPED PIECES OF WATERMELON GARNISH.
  8. ENJOY!



THE ORIGINAL’S HONEY SOUR MIX RECIPE

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice and lime juice (equal parts)

    Instructions:

    1) Add sugar, and juice to a medium sauce pan over medium/high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes
    2) Immediately after cooling a several minutes, add the honey and stir or shake vigorously while the mixture is still hot.
    3) You can then pour the mix into a plastic squeeze bottle or a glass bottle with a pour spout.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


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Did you know?

Stay tuned to OriginalBarBack.com for new recipes, stories, legends, history, "bar-lore" and more in our weekly blogs.Check out our Instagram page , YouTube channel and Facebook page for weekly posts, videos and our images of craft cocktails, beers, wines and spirits.
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OriginalBarBack Tool Company, LLC, The BarBack Tool, O-Rig Bev Tool, TM, Copyright All Rights Reserved 2017


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