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Food & Drink

Hit Us with Your Best Shot

punch bowl!

According to Imbibe author David Wondrich’s latest book, Punch: the Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, punch jelly — ancestor to spring break standard-issue Jell-O shots — actually wobbled onto the scene in the 1830s, maybe even earlier. Seeing how all old things are classy (unlike the ice luge you’re considering carving), here’s how to make a jiggly, high-proof centerpiece of your own.

Punch Jelly  

1. Start with a punch recipe. Try Empire City Punch, La Cubanita’s Rum Punch, Pilgrim Punch, or Regents Punch on for size. (Note: A noncitrusy kind works best.)

2. For every pint of the punch the original recipe makes, omit 1 cup of water or nonalcoholic liquid, then assemble the punch base as directed, increasing sugar to taste (this helps the jelly set).

3. Bring however many cups of water or liquid you’ve omitted to a boil. For every cup, you need one ¼-ounce packet of gelatin.

4. Bloom each packet in 2 ounces of cold water; add hot liquid; stir to activate.

5. Add gelatin mixture to the punch base.

6. Pour into a Jell-O mold and refrigerate.

Punch: the Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, available online at us.penguingroup.com, $24. For more jellied punch that’s the jam, try Wondrich’s Jellied Bols Genever Punch.

Photo: Joshua Self Photography / Flickr