The punch predates the cocktail by hundreds of years and is the bastion of British mixed drinks. Once recognised as something you might make during desperate times from ingredients in your kitchen cupboard to quickly quench your guest’s thirst, the drink has gone full circle and is once again referred by bartenders as a sacrosanct and historical drink. When finely tuned and applied to with thoughtfulness and skill, it has returned to its former glory as it would’ve been during the Victorian era, enjoyed by the likes of Dickens, Pepys or even the Royal Court.Creating punch is a complex skill, but once attained and with a little planning facilitates an unchallenged ease of service during parties of any number of guests (allowing one to enjoy the party rather than be stuck in the kitchen pumping out drinks), a wow factor and hundreds of years of anecdotes.During this intensive 3 hour masterclass (with a short break in the middle) I will talk you through a brief history of the punch whilst preparing a bowl for everybody to enjoy, then train you on the following best practices:* Creating and carving great block ice in the comfort of your own home using just tap water.* Making ‘oleos’ - the sustainable and practical citrus/sugar blend at the heart of vintage punches.* Creating bespoke syrups using fruits of the season or simply your favourite ingredients.* The perfect way to brew teas or herb infusions for some classical punches.* Advice on the best ingredients to use, whether spirit or wine, whilst assessing what might be found in your kitchen that can be used to full effect.* The sourcing of the best equipment needed to create the perfect punch for your needs, whether for a lazy afternoon languishing by the punch bowl, or a full blown party with all of your friends. This includes perfectly sized punch bowls, ladles, ice moulds, citrus squeezers, peelers and measures.I will provide ingredients for the bowl of punch made during the masterclass, but you are welcome to provide (and challenge me!) with any of your own that you might be keen to use.
I have worked for over two decades in the drinks industry, won multiple awards and represented the U.K. several times in cocktail competitions. For half of my career I worked in some of the most respected bars in the world, whilst the other half has been spent working full time as an international drinks consultant, which has lead me to create hundreds of original cocktails, bar programmes and concepts all over the globe, and train countless bartenders. I also host and hold seminars, judge competitions and work as a drinks writer, which in a nutshell makes me something of an authority on the world of drinks and a specialist particularly on cocktails. I will bring this experience into your home, creating cocktail-led events which are as fun as they are informative, whether they are focussed on your favourite tipple or teach you how to mix like the best.