I admire our grandmothers for their lives, for their memories and for that evident wisdom and knowledge regarding all fields of life. I could never ask anything that my grandmother couldn’t answer. Sometimes it seems that she could lived her life more fully than me, but maybe it is just the 50 years difference in age that we have between us.
After the “Getting ready for Christmas” series when I baked so many cakes and cookies I wanted to make something completely different for you for New Year’s Eve. I was looking for inspiration in an old cookbook when I found a recipe of a drink which was created specially for that occasion. “Punch for New Year’s Eve” – so is called the alcoholic drink from the cookbook from the 1930’s and after reading the recipe I immediately feel like trying it.
Talking about recipes with my grandmother gives us a lot of pleasure for both of us so I call her and tell her my plans with the punch. It turns out that by chance but not surprisingly she used to make it for special occasions when she was younger. However as always she has some remarks regarding recipe. “What do they say? Boil the orange juice with the syrup? No, no way. It will lose on flavour, we always add fresh juice at the and. Just mix it that’s all. It doesn’t say you should add some orange slices and lemon rind? Really? Strange…I think you should. Also, maybe you can add some champagne as well”- she says. We discuss some details than I start preparing the punch while keeping in mind her advices. I still need to find out the proportions. It is a really hard job to do: you stir it, than taste it, than a little from this, a little from that, than taste it again…I am really satisfied with the result with our without champagne, apparently people knew already well in the 1930’s what good is. However my grandma was right because adding champagne tops off the punch.
Obviously I tell her how it turned out.
“You are as your old grandmother”- she adds laughing- “ I always loved experimenting”.
As for me I couldn’t have got any bigger compliment.
Punch for New Year’s Eve based on a recipe from the 1930’s
For 10 portions
300 g sugar
750 ml water
50 ml rum
4 black filter bag tea
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 bottle of dry champagne (optional)
Make a sugar syrup from the water and sugar, boil it until all sugar dissolves and it is completely clear. Squeeze juice from 3 oranges and a lemon, add to the sugar syrup alongside with the rum and vanilla essence. Peel the rind of the remaining rind, slice the orange and add it to the syrup. Put it into the fridge for overnight to get a richer flavour. Before serving prepare a strong black tea by adding four tea bags to 400 ml water. After 10 minutes remove tea bags and add 600 ml cold water. To one glass of punch add 100 ml orange syrup to 100 ml tea than pour some champagne to it. To decorate the glasses brush the top of the glass with lemon and dip it into caster sugar.