Cinnamon, cranberry, port and fruit: the scents and colours of winter. This Christmas season an antique punch bowl brimming with a warm and fragrant gin punch will be waiting on the bar at the Bella Luce to greet you as you come in from the cold.
The word punch derives originally from the Sanskrit word Panc, for five. This is thought to refer to the five main original ingredients; alcohol, tea, fruit, sugar and exotic spices. Rather suitably, considering Guernsey’s rich maritime heritage, we owe our love of punch to sailors who have been famously enthusiastic about all things alcoholic for centuries. Bought back to the British Isles by the sailors and staff of the East India Trading Company in the 17th century, punch was originally adopted as an alternative to the sailor’s daily ration of 10 pints of weak beer which was going sour in warmer climes and, handily, with its fruit and spices punch also helped see off scurvy and other 17th century ailments.
Being the Gin Hotel, we thought it fitting that we created an alternative to mulled wine this Christmas. After several weeks of enjoyable experimentation we now present the Bella Christmas Punch, made using our very own Wheadon’s Gin mandarin lime and hibiscus expression (which is distilled here in the hotel in our cellar lounge) as the star ingredient.
The recipe for our Christmas punch is beautifully simple, hinging on quality, rather than quantity, of ingredients.
The Bella's Christmas Punch
250 ml Wheadon's Mandarin Lime and Hibiscus Gin
100 ml Ruby Port
100 ml Madeira
100 ml Cranberry Juice
1 tbsp Cranberry Sauce
100 ml Pineapple Juice
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Ground Ginger.
Fresh Pineapple Chunks
Measure in to your favourite punch bowl, and enjoy.
So now, whether you’ve just arrived in Guernsey, got back from a blustery walk on the cliffs or are at home and entertaining, you and your friends can warm up by the fire with a glass of delicious - and dangerously drinkable – Christmas punch.