Because punch is big right now—and season 5 of Mad Men starts Sunday—here’s a recipe for “Canadian Clubhouse Punch” from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars and Restaurants of Mad Men. Because who doesn’t want an excuse to mix whiskey and blackberry brandy? (Or to break out the punch bowl.)
Canadian Clubhouse Punch
about 2 quarts/12 servings
Background: In Mad Men season 4, episode 2, the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Christmas party is supposed to be a low-key affair, until Lucky Strike’s Lee Garner Jr. says he wants to come (because he’s “heard about Madison Avenue Christmas parties”). Roger Sterling tells Ms. Joan Harris to throw together an extravagant party, promptly. We don’t actually see what alcohol is served, but this is the type of thing Joan might have had made. According to the Mad Men cookbook:
Punch was a popular feature of parties of all kinds in the 1960s, and since guests often had no idea what was in it, or in what quantities, it sometimes left more than a few of them reeling.
This punch recipe comes from a 1961 Canadian Club advertisement. If you’re aiming for authenticity:
Note that Canadian Club didn’t produce a whiskey aged 12 years in Don Draper’s time, though they do today; the six-year prmium whisky would have been the one on Don’s credenza, and in his punch.
Note: Freeze a block of ice in advance for the punch bowl.
Thin peel of 2 oranges
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups orange juice
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons orange extract
4 ounces blackberry liqueur or brandy
1 750-milliliter bottle Canadian Club Whisky
Block of ice, for punch bowl
1 orange, thinly sliced in half-moons
1. In a large mixing bowl, mash orange peel and sugar. Add orange juice and lemon juice and stir until sugar dissolves. And orange extract, liqueur or brandy, and whisky and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
2. Take punch out of refrigerator and remove orange peel with a slotted spoon. Place block of ice in a punch bowl and pour punch into bowl. Float orange slices in bowl, or garnish each punch cup with a slice.
Want a Mad Men-era drink that’s served in individual glasses? Try an old fashioned (with rye, if you want to drink like Draper), a Rusty Nail (Scotch and Drambuie), a rye-based Manhattan or a Mint Julep with fresh muddled mint leaves.
Photo: Nina Gallant