Gin and ingenuity

Punch is a new online magazine devoted to cocktails. I first came upon Punch at Outstanding in the Field in Queens, where I took a subway, a train and a taxi to a working farm on a very hot afternoon to eat an enormous meal. Sweat dripped down the back of my legs and under my silk dress as I first walked up to the cocktail table, where a big cut-glass bowl was filled with a gin cocktail, with lemon slices and green sprigs floating fetchingly on top. I of course committed the moment to The Instagrams, as you can see here.


I signed up for their mailing list (I thought they were a caterer, but I guess they are just savvy branding-type people), and voila, when they went online in October, I was notified. The writing is a little uneven, but they have some heavy hitters, including the fourth generation of Rombauers writing about the history of cocktails in The Joy of Cooking.

My favorite section is the beginning:

It might surprise casual readers of the Joy of Cooking to learn the first recipe to appear in the first edition (published during Prohibition, in 1931) is for a juiced-up Gin Cocktail meant to mask the flavor of bathtub gin. It’s accompanied by a note that reads: “Most cocktails containing liquor are made today with gin and ingenuity. In brief, take an ample supply of the former and use your imagination.“

Though the end has its charms too:

Joy‘s significance and charm is that it is an invitation. It is not a demand or a guilt trip or a textbook. It is a steady hand and a warm voice and a full glass of wine when you need it.

And that is why my copy’s pages are so stained and warped that it takes up the space of two cookbooks on my shelf. It earns its pride of place. 

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