It would seem that National Rum Punch Day falls in the middle of September for a final goodbye to summer. However, that’s not how we, at Nightclub & Bar, see it. Why limit delicious rum bowls to strictly the summer months? Nightclub & Bar caught up with Lifestyle Expert at the Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar on 5th Avenue in New York, Gretchen Connelie, to talk rum. Connelie assures us that nothing says “party” quite like a bowl or punch; they are fun, social and different.
“Punch Bowls were often used as a way to ease the burden of hosting an event by providing a self-serve libation for all to enjoy. We like to think of our diners as guests in our home, so offering punch bowls was an obvious choice when designing the cocktail menu for our flagship New York location. Guests also love them because it takes the guess work out of what to order. Usually one person at the table has tried one before and they make the executive decision. From there, the fun ensues! It is interesting to watch a table of business associates or folks who may not be as familiar with each other start off by requesting individual glasses (instead of drinking out of the long straws we provide). Usually after a few sips, their inhibitions are reduced and it’s like everyone is family,” says Connelie.
Connelie continued that one of the tricks when creating Tommy Bahama’s punch bowls is to keep them balanced, because it is easy for them to become too sweet. Punches are also made a little stronger than a normal cocktail. This is by design as you don’t want the flavor to become watered down as the ice melts.
“From a sales standpoint, the punch bowls are only on the dinner menu although they are offered all day. It’s one of those items that people order most often because they heard about them through a friend. The punch bowls bring them in, and usually they try other menu items and realize that we’re a scratch kitchen with high quality food and we quickly become a favorite dining destination. Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar (and The Marlin Bar) are still very much considered a hidden gem among local New Yorkers, but the word is spreading quickly and so far, that’s great for business!”
Connelie assures Nightclub & Bar readers that rum punch bowls are well worth a try. What better time to start serving rum punch bowls than on National Rum Punch Day?
Below are a couple of Tommy Bahama’s infamous rum punch recipes:
KEYS BREEZE ($58)
11 oz. Pyrat XO
Build over ice in order of recipe. Garnish with 4 pineapple wedges placed in bowl.
CITRUS GINGER PUNCH ($52)
11 oz. Cruzan Light
Instructions: Build in punch bowl, stir, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with orange, lemon & lime wheels.