In today’s episode I’m going to talk about one way of trying out new drinks. I have these little shindigs that I call Cocktail Labs and I just wanted to talk about what they are, why I do them, and some tips for how I do them if you want to have your own.

The 5 points I covered in this episode:

  1. Make the drinks in advance and chill in the fridge until ready.
  2. Small serving sizes of about half to 1 ounce means 1 regular cocktail recipe with serve several people easily.
  3. Have a selection of 4–6 drinks, themed or not.
  4. Let people take notes, and rate them if you want to measure which one comes out on top.
  5. Provide food and water to cleanse the palate, but also just to be more fun and relaxed.

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Home Bar Tips recorded

Cocktail Companion: Rum Punch

Punch comes to us from British sailors returning from India. They had picked up a refreshing drink that mixed liquor with fruit juice, sugar, and water, with spices or tea. It became quite the craze back in the 18th century and was spread across Europe and the Americas. In Europe, they tended to use brandy for punch, but in the US rum was more available, being locally produced. Punches are, for the most part, simple yet very tasty drinks, and most recipes are designed to be made in large quantities for sharing from a bowl.


Punch is meant to be made in large quantities and shared. Serves 10

  • 2 cups strong black tea (hot)
  • 1⁄2 cup demerara sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups golden rum
  • garnish: nutmeg

Mix the tea and sugar until sugar is dissolved and then chill the mixture. Add lime and rum, and chill. Serve in a punch bowl over a big ice block. Grate some nutmeg over each cup served.

Episode Music
Main Stem by U.S. Army Blues on Free Music Archive