GardenRant Cocktail Hour: British Invasion


Gardenrant cocktail logoIn what has to be our all-time favorite Cocktail Hour to date, Amy invites Gen Schmidt of NorthCoastGardening for a celebrity guest appearance, and Elizabeth tries to set her newly-remodeled kitchen on fire.

First, the recipes:

Elizabeth’s Dickensian punch, adapted from Splendid Table’s adaptation

Do we really have to give one of those silly warnings explaining the obvious to anyone who attempts this recipe?  That lighting alcohol on fire in your kitchen will result in flames?  Which could, in theory, burn your kitchen down, taking you and your loved ones with it, and possibly spreading to the neighbors and sending you all up in a fiery confligration?

Well, anyway.  Here’s the recipe:

In one heavy saucepan

1 cup rum

1/4 American Honey bourbon 

zest of 2 lemons

1/2 cup brown sugar

In a regular saucepan

juice of 2 lemons

2 cups water

Heat the rum mixture and then light it for a few seconds. Stop the flames by putting a cover over the pan. Add the lemon/water mixture and cook a bit more.

Serve in a heatproof punch glass with a slice of lemon. Makes 4 drinks. 

Amy’s Pimm’s cocktail:

In a Champagne flute, pour:

.75 oz (or more to taste) Pimm’s.

Top with good (nonalcoholic) sparkling cider or Reed’s Ginger Beer.

Garnish with half a crabapple.

And about those English gardening tools!  They come from Clarington Forge, and yes, we’re going to give some away soon!  Stay tuned.


  1. It is clear that you guys take cocktail hour seriously and that’s a good thing. Unlike the 20’s somethings I’ve seen who want to get high fast, a good cocktail is designed to do everything but get high very fast if one appreciates that taste and texture and sipping all contribute to a more fun time.
    I offer a seldom known tip for anyone making cocktails for lots of people, like over 50. My Dad taught me this trick which worked very well since I was social chairman for three years in my fraternity in the old days when we had four big weekends each year which included a black tie cocktail party and dinner. In those days the three biggies were manhattens, daquiries, and old fashioneds. We had just one kind of cocktail for each party of about 125 college kids. My cocktails were always the favorite on the campus because they were “so smooth” and didn’t knock you down after just two. The secret? I made the cocktails in milk cans two days ahead of the party and I used the proper recipe for each cocktail and used “inexpesive”t booze. Here I reveal the real trick. After I made the cocktail, I added one part water for three parts cocktail. I kept the mix chilled for two days and voila – smooth

  2. I love Pimm’s! The Pimm’s Cup is my summer garden cocktail. Cider and Pimm’s sounds fantastic.
    I am combining my love of good food and of cocktails by infusing–quince in brandy, pears in vodka, and vin d’ orange.
    I am kinda loving Japanese tools, and I saw some interesting Austrian made tools with copper recently.

  3. Jeff–it is actually true that a little water makes any cocktail taste better. The flavor molecules in the alcohol are more readily released when mixed with a little water, so you actually get more flavor, not less, with water. I’ve always been a big believer in drinking Scotch neat, but one ice cube or the smallest splash of water is actually the better way to enjoy it! Who knew?

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