Pleased as punch

Raise a glass to yesteryear during the forthcoming festivities by making a giant punch bowl. Send in pictures of your punch parties to [email protected] or tweet us @useyourlocal.  The most impressive punch-maker will win a crate of lager, supplied by our friends at Heineken. All entries must be submitted before 10th May 2011.

Three world-renowned cocktail experts have shared their favourite punch recipes with us to inspire you; we’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

A perfect punch for scorchers…

Rosy Punch by Tony Conigliaro of 69 Colebrooke Row

700ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin

350ml fresh lemon juice

175ml Marashino cherry

175ml Merlet Triple Sec

100ml Sugar Syrup

1.4L Rose Wine

700ml Soda

Combine all ingredients in a big jug with ice, garnish with lemon slices and rose petals.

For less balmy days…

Hot Gin Punch by Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller

Inspired by the writings of Dickens and the hot punches that were popular in the nineteenth century.


1 Dried lemon peel

½ Dried orange peel

20 Whole cloves

½ tsp Coriander seeds

1 tsp Anardana dried pomegranate seeds

10 Elaichi green caradmom pods

10 Juniper berries

2 two-inch pieces of Dalchini cinnamon or Ceylonese cinnamon

1 pint of water

Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan for 5-10 minutes. In a tea cup, add 50 ml Beefeater 24 Gin. Pour in the hot liquid. Top with ginger beer.


We Drank GOLD…

The great and the good all gathered for a night to celebrate British Beer. And who are we to turn down an invitation like that? The evening was hosted by Mark Hix and beer guru Rupert Ponsonby and its aim was simple: get Britons to back beer. Rupert gave a rousing speech about the need for everyone from politicians to the press to make more of an effort to champion our national drink.

Mark Hix added “I would like there to be similar events for brewers, farmers, politicians, publicans and celebrity brewers across Britain. I would also like to see an event in the House of Parliament linking farmers, brewers and politicians. We need feedback, energy and ideas as to how we put our national drink, beer, central to our culture and placed on the gastronomic pedestal it deserves. It’s about time that we Brits are prouder of our National Drink.”

Tony Hadley, Brian Turner and Valentine Warner charmed their way round the room and we even spotted Alex James at the bar. The tasting included HIX Oyster Ale by Mark Hix, Chalky’s Bite by Rick Stein, Hadley’s Gold by Tony Hadley and Stinger Nettle Beer by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. And the award for best canapé definitely went to the quail’s scotch eggs.