By Sam Bygrave
Photography & video by Steve Brown
Presented by Jay Gray, The Lobo Plantation, Sydney
You might not easily equate punch with Glasgow. Well, the drink, not the act of landing one’s fist in to someone’s face — that probably happens a bit in Glasgow. But punch (the drink) is more likely to conjure up white sand and sunny beaches than the grim and grey skies of Glasgow. So you could be excused if you flipped through Jerry Thomas’ How To Mix Drinks and thought he had conjured up the recipe for Glasgow Punch from nowhere.
But as Dave Wondrich writes in his excellent tome on the topic, Punch, it makes sense for Glasgow to like punch, given the seafaring nature of many of its inhabitants and its life as a port.
Indeed, punch was all the rage in Glasgow around the turn of the 19th century. The Glasgow Daily Herald in 1865 wrote that “punch was the principal liquor drank at the dinner and supper tables of the old Glasgow magnates at the close of last century,” in its recollection of an article written by a Sir John Sinclair, although “at the time when Sir John wrote it was gradually giving place to wine.”
This is a cold punch, and if you likes your rum like the Glaswegians did, then you drink your punch cold too, as the Daily Herald wrote that Sir John Sinclair said that “in cold weather some drink hot punch, in warm weather all drink it cold, while those who value themselves on the superior flavour of their rum drink it cold at all times.”
And maybe it’s the extra dilution in this drink, but they seemed to think that punch was pretty good for you as “this kind of liquor may be drank in large quantities with perfect safety, as it seldom occasioned a headache, and many persons were known to have drunk deeply and to have lived for a great number of years in health of body and vigour of mind.”
Well it is a simple recipe to make, so it very well could come in handy the morning after the night before.