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Jul 10, 2010 07:58 AM

Places that serve punch

I swear to god, there was an article in SOMETHING (the TImes? NY Magazine?) about this new trend of places serving punch bowls. Have I lost my mind? I can't find the article anywhere.

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  1. Cienfuegos?

    Death & Co also has a few punches on the menu but only three or four. Cienfuegos is the place to go if you want punch.

    95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I believe clover club has one or two on the menu as well
      I think it was in the NYT about 6 months ago, in their dining section, but can't remember for certain.

      1. re: kathryn

        Oops just saw Kathryn posted the link!

      2. Standard Grill has a punch bowl

        Standard Grill
        848 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014

        1. Painkiller. Haven't been though. There have been several articles lately about punch and/or tiki themed drinks, but I can't recall where I saw them. NYT would have been my first guess.

          10 Replies
          1. re: _emilie_

            I've been twice to Painkiller. They serve tiki-style drinks, which I don't think qualify as punch, exactly. Although I'm not sure I really know the difference. I had a "suffering bastard" and a "swizzle." The drinks are very good, but not, repeat not, a good value at $12-14. I'll pay that for a martini, 'cause it takes me more than 12 seconds to finish. Not so these candy-like creations. They're attractive to behold, but once you account for the mountain of crushed ice and the various garnishes, they're pretty skimpy.

            1. re: small h

              So does 12 seconds mean you can't help but gulp or just not enough liquid? Never been to Painkiller but I have and would pay that price for a good Tiki drink. The good ones are complex and a treat to my taste buds. There are so many and I can't say I like them all or even tried that many. A classic MaiTai is great and I have fallen in love with the Jet Pilot at Dram Bar in Brooklyn. Plus they are much more involved and many times include more difficult to source components than a Martini or Manhattan. The volume of alchohol in MaiTais and several other classic Tiki style drinks will kick your butt for sure if you suck them down too fast. For me, the value is lost when I watch a person make a drink that I could have easily bettered at home and even bought a new bottle of bourbon for the price of a couple of them.

              According to their web site, Painkiller does serve a selection of punch bowl drinks.

              1. re: dhs

                <So does 12 seconds mean you can't help but gulp or just not enough liquid? >


              2. re: small h

                Punch can be any spirit, mixed with water and sugar, including a bit of spice and citrus. Tiki as a genre includes punch drinks like the Scorpion Bowl but also subcategories of Mai Tais, Zombies, the Bastards, Swizzles, Daiquiris, frozen drinks, etc. And tiki drinks are characterizes by multiple rums, multiple fruit juices, and specialty spice mixes/syrups.

                I'm looking at the Painkiller site and they specify 1 1/2 - 2 oz of hard liquor in their bastards. The swizzles are similar. If you want something STRONG, I'd go for a Zombie instead.

                A proper tiki drink is all about the layering of different liquors (typically rum) and layering of multiple fruit juices. I think there's a subtle difference between a "fruity" drink and a "sugary" drink and a good tiki drink needs to find the right line to tread between the two. I also think a lot of people mistakenly call a drink "sweet" when they mean "fruity."

                If you don't like a lot of fruit juices in your cocktails, then I hesitate to recommend a tiki bar for you. If you're looking for boozy, bitter, and stirred, go elsewhere. All of my favorite tiki drinks have fruit juices, orgeat, crushed ice, and are shaken, for instance.

                The price comes from the insane amount of labor behind what Painkiller is doing: house-made orgeat, freshly squeezed juices (tiki calls for orange, pineapple, lemon, lime, sometimes passionfruit, too), housemade syrups (Don's mix, cinnamon syrup, etc), cored pineapples to serve daiquiris in, the garnishes, the crushed ice, the extra time it takes to blend drinks. I think it's a little insane to be doing all of that.

                Plus, these are the guys who trained at Milk and Honey, where the drinks are $15 these days I think.

                1. re: kathryn

                  You and dhs (hello, up there!) are not wrong about the effort & the skill & the layering & the blending & the general time-consuming nature of constructing a proper tiki drink, and these are most certainly proper tiki drinks, as far as I can tell. And I know that "sweet" and "fruity" are not synonyms, although most things fruity are also sweet.

                  This is really a broader argument, for me. I'm paying for three things when I pay for a drink: the taste, the effect and the entertainment value, by which I mean the lovely appearance of said drink and the time I spend in the bar enjoying it. Tiki drinks are very, very easy for me to knock back in no time; thus, my entertainment value is diminished. I am not such a tough old broad that I can suck down a martini or a beer or a scotch rocks in under a minute, but I sure as heck can do that with a swizzle, and probably a zombie as well. So this type of drink is sort of wasted on me (you may fill in your own terrible pun here - I shan't torment you with one of mine).

                  I feel much the same way about exquisite, small food. The late, lamented Le Miu made an uni shooter, with sea urchin and seaweed and wasabi and vodka and gold leaf. Oh, it was precious. And so tasty! Also gone in a heartbeat. When I like something, I have a lot of trouble savoring it slowly.

                  Were I a wealthier person, I'd not think twice about ordering multiple tiki drinks, or multiple uni shooters. So there's that, too. Because I do think twice. And that's no fun at all.

                  Thanks for the definition of punch. The more you know!

                  1. re: small h

                    Maybe my last pro tiki post. This really has nothing to do with punches and if you are going to gulp, this won't help. BUT one of the things about strong yet heavy on the crushed ice drinks, especially on warm days, is they can last much longer than a non-iced drink while still maintaining flavor. I'd argue they are designed to do this (to a degree of course), mellow out over time with dilution. Not a tiki drink but the preeminent example of this in my mind is a mint julep. Little more than a shot with some sugar, but with the ice it mellows nicely and the mint comes through.

                    1. re: dhs

                      This is a fair point. The drink still tastes like *something* even as it melts down. I guess that adds some value.

              3. re: _emilie_

                I should add that I did just go to Painkiller this week, and the drinks were excellent (a+ for the effort and gorgeous garnishing that goes into making these). I did blow through my first one to small h's point (a frozen dark & stormy), but slowed down soon thereafter. If you want a hefty drink, go for the zombie -- it was no joke. And we did split a scorpion bowl, so yep they have punch bowls. The bastards and the swizzles were great too.

                  1. re: bookhound

                    Wow. Zombie bowls in addition to their Scorpion bowls, Cradle of Life, etc. It's $80 because Zombies are pricey due to the 4 oz of hard liquor. Their other punch bowls are more gently priced.


                1. I was just reacquainted with the Prohibition Punch at Campbell Apartment - not as good as I remember it, but if you have $20 and want a different/unique atmosphere, it's quite nice.

                  Campbell Apartment
                  89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

                  1. Bourgeois Pig serves punch bowls

                    Bourgeois Pig
                    111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009