December 23rd, 2009

Packard, Maddow and flaming punch

Heads up, drinkbostonians: Josey Packard, one of Boston’s best bartenders, will appear tonight on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC (9:00 p.m. EST) to mix up a flaming bowl of Christmas Rum Punch. Go, Josey, go!

Regular viewers know that Maddow often closes her political talk show with a bit on cocktails — I recall Dale DeGroff mixing Irish coffees on the set earlier this year. More recently, Maddow shared with her audience an investigative coup: an actual drink menu from one of the Obamas’ regular White House cocktail parties. As you see in the short video segment above, she not only described the cocktails (the Emerson, the Stone Fence and the Frost) but explained some of their ingredients (applejack, maraschino liqueur), named and photographed the bartenders who served them (Derek Brown and Adam Bernbach), pointed out that bartending is an American invention, and signed off with this delicious nugget: “And remember, Martinis do not contain vodka.”

Packard, a friend of Maddow’s who did guest spots about cocktails on the latter’s radio show back in her Air America days, will make a punch recipe adapted from the 1949 edition of Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, about which Paul Clarke writes humorously on Cocktail Chronicles. I got a live preview at a recent Christmas party as Josey did a (not so) dry run of the flaming punch for the assembled guests. It was very cool, what with all the spices and orange oil making sparks as they were tossed into the bowl. Even the sternest Scrooge would be uplifted by this vessel of flaming goodness.

Watch the show, congratulate Josey the next time you’re at Drink, and have a merry Christmas!

Permalink | Filed under Applejack, Bartenders, Booze in the news, Boston bars, Cocktails, Punch | Tags: , , , ,

14 Responses to “Packard, Maddow and flaming punch”

  1. MC Slim JB

    How very, very cool! Congrats, Josie! Gonna get that one on the DVR.

  2. Rob Marais

    And here’s hoping this cocktail moment makes it to the Web…no access to MSNBC while I visit this lovely right-wing household in BNA for Xmas. I think they’ve V-Chipped it.

  3. ljclark

    Ha! I feel your pain, Rob. The episodes do go online, I’m just not sure how soon.

  4. jgodsey

    Finally someone with a decent White Port cocktail!

  5. Susan D

    Looking forward to this as an inveterate rum aficionado. Will stop by Drink next time in Boston!

  6. eas

    Hooray for Josie! We’ll be watching tonight.

    Rachel Maddow has been a tireless advocate of our shared interest in mixed drinks. Very cool of her to give attention and credit to Derek and Adam (who have yet to report what gems they may have found in the White House bar stocks).

    For those without cable, MSNBC generally has segments available next day, and does carve out the cocktail moment.

  7. Michael Dietsch

    Watched that last night. Such a treat!

  8. MC Slim JB

    That segment was hilarious! Josey looked awesome and came across cool as a cucumber. The extensive fire brigade standing by was pretty amusing, too. Thanks for pointing that out: I never spend time otherwise with the cable news/commentary shows.

  9. Adam

    Found the link to the segment:

    Go Josey!

    Now I’m thirsty.

  10. Patrick Maguire

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Lauren and all DrinkBoston readers and contributors. A special thank you to Lauren for a year full of great coverage of all things ‘Drinkable’ on the Boston drinking scene in ’09. I’ve made new friends and strengthened existing relationships as a result of the community that you have fostered here Lauren. Also, thank you for your guidance, advice and referrals (Noah Kuhn-web designer) for my blog. I am grateful for your help.

    Here’s to a peaceful, healthy and fulfilling year ahead to everyone.


  11. ljclark

    Patrick, you are the sweetest. Thanks so much.

  12. ljclark

    Josey did a fantastic job, and the punch looked amazing. Apparently she had to do a preview of the punch for said fire brigade to ensure that the show wouldn’t go up in Christmas flames.

  13. myomam

    What a great TV moment! It almost makes me want to watch but wouldn’t it just be better to have a cocktail instead???

  14. Copper Lavender

    “Martini’s do not contain vodka.” lol
    Nice article. I enjoyed reading and watching the video. Nice blog too.

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