Tag Archives: David Wondrich

Real Hot Buttered Rum from David Wondrich

2 oz Good, Dark Jamaican-style Rum
1 tsp Raw Sugar
3+ oz Boiling Water

Rinse an earthenware mug with boiling water
Add sugar
Pour in an ounce or so of boiling water and stir to dissolve sugar
Add rum, another 2 oz of boiling water, and a hazelnut-sized knob of butter
Grate nutmeg over the top


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Dearest Lesley,

You know that I love you with all of my heart, but there’s something that’s been bothering me these past two decades.  For almost twenty years, I’ve held my tongue and been the dutiful husband, but with the boy now at an age where these thing start to matter, I feel that I must speak my peace.   I’ve also chosen to address this in a public forum, because I value the input of others on such matters.  This isn’t something that affects just our family – no, I suspect the problem to be of almost epidemic proportions.  So, here it is – straight and simple:  Christmas dinner should be celebrated on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day.  That’s just the way it is.

Your Loving Husband


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Barbara Crampton and The Bone Cocktail

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson


Once you’ve seen a Japanese horror film, you aren’t likely to forget it.  Whether your formative experience is the violent, overtly sexual Onibaba from 1964, a modern ghost story like Ringu (The Ring), or the sadistic thriller Audition, you’ll find that Japan has a vivid – and frequently disquieting – take on the genre.

For the Japanese, horror equates with monsters in all their myriad forms, whether of the beastly, ghostly, or – perhaps the most disturbing of all – psychological variety.   In the 1950s and 1960s, folklore-inspired ghost stories like Utsegu and Onibaba shared screen time with movies about kaiju, or “strange beasts”, usually symbolizing the deadly results of the Atomic Age.  As a child, I was part of the generation that did “duck and cover” drills in school and was convinced that the world would end in a fiery inferno.  As such, I consider Japanese monster movies like Godzilla and Gamera a formative part of my childhood, paralleling cheesy American flicks like the mutant ant fest Them!  In fact, before I settled on The Orphanage as my film pick, I seriously toyed with choosing Attack of the Mushroom People, a beautifully shot but ultimately far too languid and sometimes silly flick about predatory fungus that scared the living daylights out of me as a kid. To this day, I do not trust mushrooms. Read More…

Tombstone Cocktail

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 tsp Rich Simple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a coupe
Garnish with a lemon twist

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Is there anything more American than the cowboy?  As young boys, we assumed the personas of idealized gunslingers – The Lone Ranger, Marshal Dillon, The Man with No Name – and stomped across the neighborhood fields, extended index fingers and cocked thumbs replacing six-shooters.  Even the girls got Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.  Together, we tamed the frontier of our suburban landscape, defending a romanticized American ideal which had preceded us by many generations and which, in truth, may never have existed at all.

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Admiral Russell’s Punch

From Punch by David Wondrich

2.5 Cups Demerara Sugar
1 Cup Boiling Water
18 oz Strained Lemon Juice
4 oz Strained Lime Juice
2 Bottles Remy Martin Cognac
18 oz Sherry or Madeira (see below for specifics)
1.5 Quart Cold Water

To a punch bowl, add sugar and boiling water
Stir to dissolve
Add lemon and lime juices
Stir more, if needed, to dissolve all sugar
Add spirits, stir again
Add cold water
Grate nutmeg over the top

Garnish with a Playmobil rowboat helmed by a boy

Yield: 18 Cups.  Multiply by 700 for true authenticity

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Holland Gin Punch

From Punch by David Wondrich

750ml Bols Genever
Peel of 1 Lemon
2 oz (by weight) of Demerara Sugar
8 oz plus 40 oz Boiling Water

Peel lemon, removing as little of the pith as possible
Combine lemon peel and sugar in heatproof bowl or pot, set aside for one hour
Add 8 oz boiling water to lemon and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar
Add genever, then add 32 oz of the remaining water (plus more to taste)
Keep punch warm on stove, by fire, or in a crock-pot


Yield: Approximately 9 Cups

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