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 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…