Friday Cocktails: Punch Romaine

Punch Romaine

Punch Romaine

Punch Romaine, a rum-spiked shaved-ice palate cleanser served to first class passengers during the fateful last dinner aboard the Titanic on April 14th, 1912, was based on a recipe from famed French chef Georges Auguste Escoffier, who championed alcoholic shaved ices during the early twentieth century. The original recipe, essentially a granita, is updated here as a drinkable, citrusy cocktail poured over an iceberg of crushed ice.Todd Coleman

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, perhaps history's most famous maritime disaster. For me, this is a big deal: I've been a Titanic history fanatic since childhood, pouring over every book I could find on the passengers, dinner menus, and deck plans, including Robert Ballard's incredible volume Discovery of the Titanic, about the submersible dive to the wreckage.

In the course of my reading, I came across a copy of the ship's passenger manifest — and to my utter astonishment, I found a first class passenger with my family name. Miss Edith Corse Evans, a New Yorker, was one of four first-class women to perish in the icy waters of the Atlantic. She was 36 years old when she died, just 5 years older than I am right now, and I've often wondered about her experience onboard: did she stroll along the decks mingling with the Astors and Strausses? How did she have the courage to give up a seat on one of the last lifeboats to fellow passenger Mrs. Caroline Lane Brown? Did she partake in that famous ten-course, twenty-four dish final dinner?

In honor of the Titanic's anniversary — and Miss Edith Corse Evans — I was inspired to make a cocktail based on the dinner's sixth course, a palate-cleanser of rum-spiked Punch Romaine. An original Escoffier creation, the recipe as the great chef devised it was more of a granita or sorbet; I've modified the recipe into a drinkable cocktail, poured over its very own iceberg of crushed ice.

See the recipe for the Punch Romaine »