Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top Rules for Hostessing

As I previously mentioned, the new husband and I hosted our first big fancy dinner on Christmas Eve.  This was a bit of a learning opportunity for me.  I love to have people over and I entertain fairly often.  Before Christmas Eve I had a loose set of rules for hostessing.

1.) Have something ready to eat or drink when the guests walk in the door.
2.) Make a centerpiece, be it out of flowers, easter Peeps, tinsel or anything else that comes to hand.
3.) Make a playlist appropriate to the occasion.
4.) Tidy the bathroom before the guests arrive.
Etc., etc. etc.!

Christmas Eve I discovered all of those rules can be wiped and replaced by one single step.

1.) Serve a punch that is so mind-blisteringly strong that the guests are all schnockered by one glass and let the good times roll!

In our defense, Fred wanted to serve a festive punch and the New York Times had suggested several excellent options a week in advance.  How the fuddy-duddy editors of the New York Times let this recipe get printed, is a complete mystery to me.  It is way too fun.

Chatham Artillery Punch:
(Courtesy of the New York Times, adapted from David Wondrich, the ol' lush!)
8 lemons
1 pound superfine sugar
750-milliliter bottle bourbon or rye
750-milliliter bottle Cognac
750-milliliter bottle dark Jamaican rum
3 bottles Champagne or other sparkling wine
1. Squeeze and strain the lemons to make 16 ounces of juice. Peel the lemons and muddle the peels with the sugar. Let the peels and sugar sit for an hour, then muddle again. Add the lemon juice and stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain out the peels.
2. Fill a 2- to 3-gallon bucket or bowl with crushed ice or ice cubes. Add the lemon-sugar mixture and the bourbon, Cognac and rum. Stir and add the Champagne. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Grate nutmeg over the top and serve.
(Unfortunately not our bunch of punch.  But next time I totally need a cool punchbowl like this one!  Source.)

OK people, any drink recipe that requires a "2 to 3 gallon bucket"?!?  Top notch party material in my book.  And might I suggest you opt for the 3 gallon?  We did a 1/3 batch (only one bottle of champers, sadly) and it filled our largest mixing bowl to the brim.  The nutmeg we sprinkled on each beverage gaily, as if to say "see, even though this thing is about to replace your brain with lime jello, at least it's festive!"

Side benefits to this beverage were dinner tasted great, all our guests were hilarious and found everything else hilarious, and not being able to see straight meant no one noticed how thrashed the kitchen was.  Use this recipe sparingly, but I'm pretty sure it is an awesome party in a punchbowl.  Make that an awesome party in a 3-gallon bucket.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! I totally need a punch bowl too. I love punch!