Gun Club Punch

April 18th, 2008  |  Published in liqueur, recipes, rum  |  6 Comments

My bar is looking kind of sad lately. I’m pretty much completely out of gin and my rum stores are looking rather anemic as well. This is largely a result of the fact that the places I like to shop for liquor are far, far away from where I live and, in LA, far far away means dedicating at least half a day to getting there and back. As you might imagine, spending half of one of our currently gorgeous days in the car doesn’t seem appealing, even if the result is the replenishment of my shelves.

As such, my drinking has been restricted to those spirits I have in plentiful supply. Though my rum selection is dwindling, I still have more rum than anything else. Returning again to Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide, Revised, I hunted through the punches looking for something light and refreshing that would be plentiful enough that one batch would get us through the afternoon (and evening).

I’ve searched as many resources as I could to find the source of the Gun Club Punch (version two), but haven’t been able to turn up any leads. My best guess is that it has some relation to The Gun Club Drink Book by Charles Browne, “sometime Mayor of Princeton; onetime Member of Congress; A. M., M. D., and some other things, but primarily interested in cookery,” which retails for a reasonable $1000. Regardless, this is a much less tropical concoction than version one, which includes pineapple juice and a host of other common tiki ingredients.

1½ oz light Puerto Rican rum
½ oz 151º Demerara rum
dash curaçao
dash simple syrup
1½ oz unsweetened grapefruit juice
juice of 1 lime

Blend with one scoop shaved ice and pour into a glass filled with ice. Decorate with a sprig of mint and a fruit stick.

Trader Vic explicitly calls for this to be served in a big red shot glass, which, not being a collector, is one of the many specialty glasses I do not own. I compromised with the large footed glass I use for most of my tiki cocktails.

This drink, while pleasant and refreshing, isn’t an overwhelming winner. It’s on the dry side, and blending it with shaved ice not only diluted the potency of the 151º, it killed most of the flavor as well. Next time it could use a little oomph—falernum? Pimento dram? Less ice? Back to the drawing board…

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  1. Scott says:

    April 18th, 2008at 11:24 pm(#)

    Also living in Los Angeles, I’d like a list of your favourite places to shop. I’ve been to bevmo and wallys and while very good, both selections leave a lot to be desired.

  2. blair frodelius says:

    April 19th, 2008at 6:59 am(#)

    I’ve got a first edition of The Gun Club Drink Book. Make me an offer.

    Blair Frodelius

  3. Marleigh says:

    April 21st, 2008at 9:57 am(#)


    There are actually a pretty large number of places to shop, depending on what you’re looking for. The BevMo in Pasadena is the best, hands down, if you’re going to shop at a BevMo. They tend to be a great place to pick up liqueur and you occasionally get a great price on liquor (I’ve picked up a 750ml of Plymouth for $12 and a 750ml of Corner Creek bourbon for $13). They also generally have a great beer selection.

    If price isn’t your major consideration, both Vendome Liquor in the Valley and Mission Liquors in Pasadena have some great stuff (Lemon Hart rum, orgeat and passion fruit syrups, Marie Brizard liqueurs), though they are pretty pricey.

    Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa is mecca. If you can make a trip down there the selection and prices are generally great. Beverage Warehouse in Culver City has been recommended to me highly, though I haven’t been there yet. Topline in Glendale is also a great resource—they don’t have a regular inventory, just whatever they can get at a bargain, but they generally have a good selection of liquor and wine at very reasonable prices.

    Otherwise, I check the liquor selection of pretty much every random shop or grocery I pass. You’d be surprised what weird things you find in hole-in-the-wall liquor stores.


    Thanks for the offer, but the Gun Club book is far down my list of books to purchase. I’ll give you a shout when I check the rest of them off!

  4. Scott says:

    April 21st, 2008at 11:56 am(#)

    Thanks Marleigh! I was thinking of hitting up Beverage Warehouse on Saturday actually, but by the time I got around to it, they were closed. I’ll definitely have to go to BevMo! in Pasadena sometime. I’ve been to all of them but that one it seems.

  5. Dr. Bamboo says:

    April 22nd, 2008at 11:39 am(#)

    Wow. I actually have all the ingredients to make this, courtesy of a friend who just sent me some Demerara 151 today.

    I know you said it tastes so-so, but the the purty pictures sure make it look delish.

  6. Marleigh says:

    April 23rd, 2008at 7:10 am(#)


    It’s the strawberries. They make anything look good. ;)

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