Based on a recipe from the tail end of punch’s golden age, before it became consigned to frat houses and teenage parties, this, The Dandy, appears on our cocktail list in the Bridging Drinks section.
As the prudish moral code, stiff etiquette and formal attire of the Victorian era gave way to the sociability, wealth and fashions of the Edwardians, well-to-do young men often found themselves at a loss after lunch. With no need for the horrors of gainful employment and no need to retire for the pre-dinner primping required only a few years earlier, they had to find a way to entertain themselves of an afternoon. And so began the concept of Bridging Drinks. After your morning Anti-Fogmatics and a claret-fuelled lunch, Bridging Drinks helped the moneyed classes through that difficult time between the last post-lunch port and the first pre-dinner Martini.
We call on our customers to help revive this noble tradition by joining us between 3pm and 7pm for cocktails – the leisured classes of the 1920s would have thoroughly approved. This time of the day calls for something elegant, preferably charged with champagne, such as this drink which we adapted from a cognac punch originally served to New York’s elite in large punch bowls at the Waldorf-Astoria (Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, A.S. Crockett, 1935).
|50ml||good Cognac, such as Martell VS|
|25ml||Dom Benedictine liqueur|
|1||bottle of chilled champagne|
|seasonal berries to garnish|
For the sugar syrup:
Usually we add sugar to cocktails in the form of sugar syrup (also known as gomme and gum). Over a low heat dissolve 800g of sugar in 400ml of water and leave to cool. Refrigerate and use as needed. It will keep for about a month. You can use different sugars, a brown sugar such as demerara can add a little more depth of flavour than plain white sugar, but might make the drink look a little murky.
In a medium-sized punch bowl combine the first 4 ingredients and stir. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the punch. Pour the entire bottle of champagne into the punch bowl andgarnish with seasonal berries. Chill with ice if you must, but beaware this will kill some of the bubbles.