If you’re looking for the perfect punch to serve at your holiday parties, try this favorite recipe, circa 1961 from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Canadian Clubhouse Punch. Serious Eats said of the recipe;
“While Canadian whisky doesn’t get much love from the serious cocktail crowd, in this retro punch, it’s pretty perfect. The whisky is set off with plenty of citrus and a touch of blackberry brandy. The punch is festive and sippable in a way that goes down a bit too easily.”
CANADIAN CLUBHOUSE PUNCH
SEASON 4, EPISODE 2 “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”
The 1964 Christmas Party at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is supposed to be a low-key affair; the firm is struggling and an extravagant celebration is neither in the cards nor the budget. But when Roger Sterling learns that Lee Garner, Jr., the arrogant, party-boy son of Lucky Strike owner Lee Garner, Sr., is going to be in town, they have to pull out all the stops and put on a show. Lucky Strike is the firm’s biggest account, Lee loves Christmas, and Roger will do whatever it takes to keep his most important happy.
Nothing says “party” like a festive punch, and if you’re throwing one of your own this is the punch to serve, especially if Lee Garner, Jr., is coming. Self-serve punch was a popular feature of parties of all kinds in the 1960s, and since guests often had no idea what was in it, or in what quantities, it sometimes left more than a few of them reeling.
This fruity holiday recipe for Canadian Clubhouse Punch from a 1961 advertisement is sure to get your holiday party or special occasion off on the right foot and keep your guests, or important clients, happy.
“Punch” is generally thought to be a shortened version of puncheon, a cask used to transport rum. Regardless, the alcohol in punch can be brandy, rum, gin, sherry, or whiskey. If you’re striving for authenticity, note that Canadian Club didn’t produce a whiskey aged twelve years in Don Draper’s time, though they do today; the six-year premium whiskey would have been the one on Don’s credenza, and in his punch.
A recipe for a festive holiday punch from a 1961 Canadian Club holiday advertisement is perfect for holiday parties, Mad Men style, or not! Recipe from THE UNOFFICIAL MAD MEN COOKBOOK by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin (Smartpop, 2011).
- Thin peel of 2 oranges
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 ½ cups orange juice
- 6 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- 4 ounces blackberry liqueur or brandy
- 1 750 milliliter bottle Canadian Club Whisky
- Block of ice, for punch bowl
- 1 orange, thinly sliced in half moons
- In a large mixing bowl, mash orange peel and sugar. Add orange juice and lemon juice and stir until sugar dissolves. Add orange extract, liqueur or brandy, and whisky and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
- Take punch out of refrigerator and remove orange peel with a slotted spoon. Place block of ice in a punch bowl and pour punch into bowl. Float orange slices in bowl, or garnish each punch cup with a slice.
Freeze a block of ice in advance for the punch bowl.