Friday, November 27, 2009

Is it Margherita time yet?

What's your view on punch?

All these Christmas supermarket ads that show large, unwieldy and frankly unlikely swinging family parties always show tables groaning with food - who fancies Iceland's frozen chocolate coverered strawberries? Thought not - but what they always lack is drink, specifically vats of egg nog or a tureen of punch.

Personally I went off punch in 1986 when at a student party someone discovered a turd lurking at the bottom of a bucket of fruit cup. Since then its appeal has been somewhat lacking.

But that said, it's not like I'm drowning in it. When was the last time you went to a party and someone offered you punch? Or egg nog? These days it's the seemingly more upmarket mulled wine that's the Christmas drink du jour.

I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of hot wine. When I was in Warsaw recently there were pubs selling hot beer and, strangely, hot honey. I draw the line. Hot wine is one thing, but those are quite another. The only thing mulled wine has got going for it is that it smells Christmassy, and if you're at a Christmas market in Helsinki cupping some in your cold hands, and the air smells of crunchy snow, nutmeg, cinnamon and gingerbread then it's just about acceptable. But you don't want it made from an Asda mix in a saucepan at someone's house.

So let's eschew mulled wine and give punch another go. If I close my eyes and don't think too hard I might be able to get some down. It'll make the party go with a swing. A big punchbowl full an alcoholic pink liquid with glass cups hanging around the rim and everyone getting merry and dancing to Slade. Now that's my kind of Christmas party.


Ishouldbeworking said...

I'd really like to try a Snowball again, but imagine I'd get laughed at in the pub. I was always allowed a weak one at Christmas as a kid, and thought it was the most delicious thing possible.

Not had punch for at least 20 years, though. My abiding memory of that occasion is my friend Phil throwing up a quart of bright blue sick.

Suzy Norman said...

I inherited my Great Aunt's 19th century punch bowl. She used to throw a party every Christmas night in the 70s and 80s and I probably had my first taste of alcohol from it. Now, sadly, it has pens, keys, post-its etc in there and hasn't been used in this house.

Mulled wine is rubbish.

Mondo said...

Whenever I've tried punch, it always tastes the same, no matter what ingredients are used. Generally I'll swerve it, you never really know what's gone in - and it'll only end in a roaring hangover

Friends of ours usually do a Christmas cocktail party, with a choice of 4 or 5 on a board which they make to order and serve through a hatch. It even snowed at one of them - perfect..

Five-Centres said...

Well Suzy, time to clear out the punch bowl and set it to work.

Mondo that sounds great. So Seventies. I hope Snowballs were served. I like them too, ISBW.

Cocktails said...

The way I'm feeling at the moment (still tired and emotional after a late one last night) I think I'd drink anything, including punch, to get over it.