This ale punch is one of the few recipes with beer that appears in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bar-Tender’s Guide. Portland bartender Jacob Grier updated the recipe for a modern audience because it’s “easy to make, refreshing, and perfect for a party when you don’t want to be stuck mixing individual cocktails,” he says.
Instead of going the traditional route and trying to source the rare maidenhair fern to make the capillaire, he tweaked a recipe from David Wondrich to make the process easier while still maintaining the ingredient’s classic orange aroma. Think of it as a refreshing beer-fueled sangria, without the burden of fresh fruit.
1 quart English-style ale (Grier says Old Speckled Hen works well)
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. capillaire*
2 oz. dry white wine
2 oz. brandy
Tools: punch bowl, ladle
Glass: punch glasses
Garnish: peel of 1 lemon, cut into wide swaths and freshly grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and slip in a large block of ice. Grate nutmeg over the surface of the punch and ladle into punch glasses. Serves 6-8.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. orange flower water
Combine sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in orange flower water and bottle. Store refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups (480mL).
Recipes adapted from Jerry Thomas (punch) and David Wondrich (capillaire) by Jacob Grier. printed with permission from Cocktails on Tap by Jacob Grier. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.