The Critical 'I'

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Saturday, November 30, 2002

CLARET CUP, ANYONE?
have a cup
So, I'm hosting a little holiday shindig one week from today. I'm getting all the elements together: drinks, food, a little decor and a lot of cleaning-up.

I'm a little bit in a bind, though. I had intended to make a big ol' bowl of claret cup punch, which I consider to be a perfect addition to the festivities (it also went over very well the last time I made it, about two years ago). Problem is, I can't track down the damn recipe! I got it out of an old issue of GQ magazine, and I guess I must have tossed the issue and neglected to keep a copy of the ingredients! Woe is me...

My web research so far has come up snake eyes. There seems to be a couple of hundred variations on how to make this concoction, and I have yet to find the one that sounds right. I have narrowed down the basic components, I think, mostly from memory:

*Two bottles of claret (or French red) wine
*Powdered sugar
*Two bottles (probably 32 oz. total) soda water
*Some (how much??) triple sec
*Juice of one lemon
*A shot(?) of brandy
*Orange slices

That's the best I can piece together. Most of the recipes I've found online and in books include cucumber rind; I know that wasn't in the stuff I made, so I'll pass on that. Also other variations include more/other fruits and juices, chocolate liqueurs, mint and other strange stuff. If anyone is familiar with the recipe I'm thinking of, I'd greatly appreciate you cluing me in. Otherwise, I'll just have to wing it.