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Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) Of The Flowing Bowl

An Authoritative, historically informed tribute to the punch bowl, by the James Beard Award-winning author of Imbibe!. Replete with historical anecdotes, expert observations, notes on technique and ingredients, and of course world-class recipes, Punch will take readers on a celebratory journey into the punch bowl that starts with some very lonely British sailors and swells to include a cast of lords and ladies, admirals, kings, presidents, poets, pirates, novelists, spies, and other colorful characters. It is a tale only David Wondrich can tell-and it is sure to delight, amuse, and inspire the mixologist and party-planner in everyone.

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1St Edition edition (November 2, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0399536167

ISBN-13: 978-0399536168

Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #254,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #184 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Cocktails & Mixed Drinks #249 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Spirits #379 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > History

I am a strict and fervent teetotaler, so I might be the wrong person to review _Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl_ (Perigee) by David Wondrich. True, I am never going to sample any of the many and curious recipes which Wondrich has provided, but although his book is partly a how-to guide about making and enjoying punch, it is also a history of a drink that has a has a lot of international relations connected to it. Punch also (and this is why the book's subject interested me) shows up in a lot of the old books I like to read. Wondrich, who has published often about mixing drinks (he counts himself among the fraternity of mixologists), is an amusing writer who has done plenty of research about a subject he obviously loves. He calls punch the first globally popular mixed drink, the grandfather of them all, and says that until this book came out, the recipes for different sorts of punches have never been collected. He has plenty of historical notes about who was making punch and of what ingredients, and while he refers to its being part of say, Dickens and Austen. So you don't have to enjoy punch to enjoy _Punch_.It is significant that the etymology of "punch" is traced to Hindi. It may be that punch was an Indian drink that members of the English East India Company's trading posts in South Asia adopted. Wondrich, however, makes the case that British expatriates, especially sailors, far from home may have been taking the best available local ingredients and combining them in pleasing ways. Central to such punches was the distillate called "arrack," a generic term for an Indian brew that may have been made for two thousand years. Sailors drank plenty of punch, and sailed the world over, again using whatever was available.

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