Punch, as we know it, has five primary elements — alcohol, citrus, sugar, water and tea/spice — and since the 1600s, this delightful balance of flavors has been difficult to surpass. Similarly the daiquiri, with its trilogy of rum, lime and sugar, can be one of the most satiating and enticing drinks imaginable, when crafted by the right hand.
At James in Brooklyn, the bar staff brings together the best of both worlds for an à la minute drink called the Providence Punch, which also bridges the flavors of a robust Earl Grey and pungent El Dorado demerara rum for surprisingly delightful results.
“This is essentially a daiquiri, but the black tea and black walnut give a nod to traditional Provence Tea,” says barman Justin Briggs, who dubbed the drink Providence Punch to impress a sense of maturity and tenure, of which the combined genres of punch and daiquiri certainly carry.
This cocktail has the benefit of being equally suited for morning and evening hours — and though it packs a decent punch from the rum, the lemon citrus and sparkling wine float help keep the flavor profile light and upbeat.
Though the menu at James features a variety of well-crafted, yet adventurous, seasonal drinks, it’s always great to see one option that just plays the hits, but still leaves room for a bit of complexity. Enjoy.
- 2 ounces Earl Grey-infused El Dorado rum, 8 year
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1)
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
- Gruet Blanc de Blanc Silver Label, to top
- lemon wheel float
For the rum infusion:
- Let 5 Earl Gray tea bags steep in a 750 mL bottle of El Dorado Rum for 20 minutes.
- Strain and bottle for later use.
For cocktail assembly:
- Combine rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters into a small shaker tin.
- Add ice to the large tin and combine to shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled couple glass and top with Gruet sparkling wine.
- Garnish by floating a thin lemon wheel on the drink.
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