I tend to think of fancy cocktails as a distinctly contemporary phenomenon, but it seems that early Americans got in on the mixology trend way before Woodberry Kitchen started serving up Union Swizzles and Manhampdens. A few centuries ago, people were drinking “punch” — a name thought to have evolved from “panch,” the Indian word for five. (England learned about it from India, and in turn brought the quaff to the colonies.) The five elements in question? Something sour, something sweet, something strong, something weak, plus some spices for good measure.
If that sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck: the Homewood Museum hosts its annual Evening of Traditional Beverages next week (Thursday, June 7, to be exact) on the museum’s lawn, and they’re bringing some of the city’s top mixologists in to recreate the flavor of a seventeenth-century cocktail. On hand will be Corey Polyoka (of Woodberry Kitchen), Brendan Dorr (of B&O American Brasserie), Doug Atwel (Rye), and Perez Klebahn (Mr. Rain’s Fun House). All these dudes are founding members of Baltimore’s newest secret society, the Baltimore Bartender’s Guild, “a collection of local Baltimore like-minded bar professionals with one goal: to raise the bar. To bring a new level of classic and contemporary cocktails to the city of Baltimore, while providing guests with the best quality of service.”
If you’re interested in attending, know that tomorrow’s the last day to make advance reservations (info here). Walk up tickets may be available, but that seems unlikely.