ORIGINAL SPIRITS: PESTO PUNCH Monday, September 24, 2012

What do you think of when you think pesto? Italy, right?

How about ginger? Probably Asia, correct? And most likely Japan, no?

How about punch? America? Maybe, but if not, then certainly Great Britain.

If that’s how you answered any of those questions, you wouldn’t be incorrect.

But did you know that each of those elements can be traced back to India, from the basil that dominates a good pesto, to the ginger we use to cleanse our palates and calm out tummies to the very idea of Punch, which British traders “borrowed” from the subcontinent?

Now imagine bringing them altogether and muddling in a little lime. What would you get?

You’d get something tart, slightly bitter (that’s the basil at work) and slightly sweet (via some soda fountain ginger ale).

In other words, you’d have a refreshing, rather wholesome punch that can be traced back for centuries, or even millennia, to the Indian subcontinent.

But punch, we know, was made to be spiked. And everyone knows that the sneakiest way to spike a punch is to spike it gin.

And while gin’s definitely a British thing, it (like vodka) is increasingly becoming a Portland thing.

That’s why we’re spiking our punch with New Deal Distillery‘s No. 3 Gin, which is distilled, seriously, just a few miles away from where you’ll be sitting this Wednesday afternoon, as you sip our Pesto Punch, the latest entry in our Homegrown Wednesdays cocktail series.


Or, as they say in India, चियर्स.*

*At least that’s what Google says.