Holiday Punch Gets New Respect
on 27/10/10 at 1:01 pmBooze News
Ask David Wondrich how he became so fascinated with punch — as in the liquid curse of many a holiday party, ladled out in portions too stinting to dull the pain of forced conversation and obligatory merriment — and suddenly you’re in England. In the middle of the 19th century. At Charles Dickens’s house.
“He had this whole punch ritual,” Mr. Wondrich explained during a recent interview at a bar near his own home in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. “This whole punch performance. He liked to set the liquor on fire.”
Mr. Wondrich knows this because it’s in Mr. Dickens’s letters, which he has read. Before Mr. Wondrich was one of New York’s most revered cocktail authorities, he was a college English professor, and before that the bassist in a psychedelic punk band, A Blind Dog Stares, but now I’m getting a bit too far from the subject at hand.