Holiday Punch

Cadet Punch ("Thank you, sir.  May I have another?")

Cadet Punch (“Thank you, sir. May I have another?”)

Garden & Gun magazine has outstanding cocktail recipes.  We are not great ones for punch, here at the White Collar Wire, but in a season of good will, we might try this Garden & Gun Holiday Punch:

Tagging behind the cocktail revival, however, has been a punch revival, spearheaded by the cocktail historian David Wondrich (see his encyclopedic 2010 book, Punch, for the whole shebang) and popularized by bartenders like Slater, whose bar menu features a revolving cast of oldfangled and newfangled punches. “Punch bowls are the original cocktails,” Slater says. This is true: The bowl preceded the glass by more than a century. Peruse some old punch recipes—and by old, I mean antebellum old—and a truth emerges: Punches don’t have to suck. Or involve 7Up.

Consider the Cadet Punch. This is a Slater invention, but its inspiration stretches back to nineteenth-century Savannah, Georgia, where a militia group called the Chatham Artillery concocted a punch that could reasonably be called weaponized. Into a horse bucket went brandy, rum, whiskey, and champagne, along with an oily lemon and sugar mixture. Slater ditched the brandy, rum, bubbles, and horse bucket to produce a simpler, less belligerent blend. The result, he says, tastes something like an old-fashioned—a minimalist punch for whiskey lovers. “It doesn’t hide anything,” Slater says.


The Mai Tai Question for Young White-Collar Lawyers


Here’s the recipe for a Mai Tai.

A Mai Tai is not really a Thanksgiving cocktail, but it reminds me of something I’ve always wanted to ask an interviewing law student.

Long ago, when I was junior at Washington & Lee, a history course (the “History of Venice,” I believe) taught by Professor Jefferson Davis Futch III required “permission of the instructor” before one could enroll.  I went to the Department of History, knocked at Professor Futch’s door and was given leave to enter.

I said that I was here for permission to take the course

He considered me for a moment, said “Let’s see,” leaned back in his chair — the office was so full of books you could hardly move —  and asked: “How does one make a Mai Tai?”

I fumbled through the recipe.  “Close enough,” he said.  “You can take the course.”

This interview season, I think I will ask that question.  Especially of the students who say they want to do white-collar work.

Weekend Cocktail Notes from White Collar Wire


“’This is a good place,’ he said.
‘There’s a lot of liquor,’ I agreed.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises


Gin is juniper, in our opinion.  Gin should not be “citrus-forward”: Is The Gin Category In Danger of Losing Its Way? 


F. Scott Fitzgerald, On Booze

From the advertising blurb:

“First you take a drink,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once noted, “then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost every one of his stories. On Booze gathers debutantes and dandies, rowdy jazz musicians, lost children and ragtime riff-raff into a newly compiled collection taken from The Crack-Up, and other works. On Booze portrays “The Jazz Age” as Fitzgerald experienced it: roaring, rambunctious, and lush – with quite a hangover.

Time Out

Timeout’s Best Cocktails In New York City 2013:


New York cocktail lovers had plenty to choose from with this year’s excellent slugs. Our favorite drinks included a Spanish-tinged julep, a highbrow egg cream and a head-turning martini. From daisies to gimlets and everything in between—these are TONY’s top tipples of the year.


Fall Cocktails

Fall Cocktails: The Six Best Whiskey Drinks You’ve Never Heard of  is quite a list.  Personally, I wish to try a

“If you could distill carved-oak paneling and club chairs, leather-bound volumes and three-cushion billiard tables, [the Suburban] is what you’d get,” claims Esquire. Named for the Brooklyn Suburban Handicap horse race, this 19th century tipple combines three longshots rarely seen in the winner’s circle — rye, rum, and port. Yet somehow, they just work. A nice dark rum mellows the harsher edges of rye, specifically the “heat,” port subtly plays the role of a sweet vermouth, and a dash or two of bitters rounds out the missing herbal notes. Always a safe bet.

1.5 oz. rye whisky
.5 oz. dark rum
.5 oz. ounce port
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Labor Day Weekend Notes From White-Collar Wire

For your Labor Day weekend:

First:  in our professional and business lives, let’s recall the significance of work.  “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” ~ Vince Lombardi

Second: if you associate bourbon-and-Coke with the arrival of Fall and the college-football season, here’s a Bourbon And Coke Cocktail From Garden & Gun Magazine that sounds like a winner.

Third: if you are entertaining guests you don’t care for, or lawyers who have failed you or clients who haven’t paid you, here’s a list of  Labor Day Cocktails From The Examiner.  Except for the “Beer Margarita,” most sound revolting.

Fourth: our weekend will not be complete without this Grilled Doughnut and Ice Cream Sandwich.  And, more rum.



The Bellini and Hemingway

From the New York Times, a Bellini Video Recipe.  The Bellini — the Times‘s drink for Wednesday — is not nearly as silly as it sounds.  The cocktail is best-known for being served at Harry’s Bar in Venice.

At its tables, according to the website, Hemingway held forth:

During the long, cold winter of 1949-50, Ernest Hemingway installed himself comfortably in the Concordia room. Hemingway practically dropped in on us that year, and divided his time between the Inn on Torcello, the Gritti, and Harry’s Bar, where he had a table of his own in a corner. He was the only client with whom once during an outing to Torcello I had to drink a little myself – much, much more than a little, actually – just to keep up with him.

Hemingway was the only client, I was saying, because I have always believed that the client’s place is on one side of the counter, and the barman’s is on the other.  Everything in its place….but he had such an overwhelming personality that it was impossible to maintain any barriers.

He was generous to a fault, and filled more pages of his check-book than those of a medium length novel.

At the time, he was just finishing “Over the River and Into the Trees” in which he mentions Harry’s Bar many times. Every time I hear someone say “Hemingway sure gave you a lot of free promotion!” I say: “You’re all wet, Bud. It was me and my bar that promoted him. They gave him the Nobel prize afterwards, not before.”