This Fourth of July, revisit what made America great—ingenuity and resourcefulness, especially when it comes to drinking. Enter Colonial Spirits: A Toast our Drunken History. Steven Grasse, owner of Art in the Age in Philadelphia’s Old City, and Reverend Michael Alan, an artist and mixologist, worked together to update more than 50 Colonial-are recipes with names like Ben Franklin Milk Punch and Lambswool. There’s even a few original recipes for things like Quince Wine and Apple Cider Vinegar. “We wanted to share recipes that give flavor and spirit of the originals without an overly arduous commitment of time and labor,” says Grasse. So basically, you can party like our forefathers but with modern day ingredients and time limits.
It’s in this spirit that Alan created Independence Punch, which he says was inspired by General Washington's affinity for distilling whiskey and his wife's recipe for Cherry Bounce (a delicious concoction of cherries steeped in whiskey). OnJuly 11, Art in the Age and theMuseum of the American Revolution will co-host a happy hour (5—7 pm) in honor of the anniversary of the infamous Alexander Hamilton/ Aaron Burr duel. The event, located at the museum’s Cross Keys Café, will feature Independence Punch. If you can’t make it to Philadelphia, you can make this at home:
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1 750ml bottle Dutch Malt Whiskey
1 cup Cherry Syrup (pg 130)
1 cup Lemon Juice
3 cups Black Tea, freshly brewed and unsweetened
1 1/2 cups Ginger Beer
13 cherries, pitted
13 slices ginger
or whatever combination of red, white and blue fruit on hand
In a larger pitcher (an empty, clean one-gallon water container works well), combine the whiskey, cherry syrup, lemon juice and tea. Cover and chill until cold and the flavors combine- a couple of hours.
Transfer chilled liquid to a punch bowl or beverage dispenser and garnish with the ginger and fruit.
Serve in glasses packed with ice.
Note: Just like the American spirit, this punch is powerful- ice is necessary to lighten its potency. The punch can also be topped with a splash of club soda or additional ginger beer for those with a weaker constitution.