Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gala Parfait: Pool Party

I've never been good at juggling.
At some point I guess I just stopped trying because after bruising so much fruit, I thought hey better to just eat this apple.
But in life I grew pretty adept at it. An over-achieving high school student who opted for a full college course load plus three jobs, sometimes a band... to a full-time career, a food blog, busy lifestyle... and sometimes a band. But age and energy are funny things. I remember when five hours of sleep was enough, and hangovers lasted but a few pesky morning hours. I recall lightning quick reflexes and prose that spilt from the pen with ease.

You may have noticed the Chocolate of Meats lightening in load. I suppose that's natural. Sure, life gets in the way sometimes, but also it's become a saturated market - The numbers don't tug at my conscience to use this forum to keep my public up to date with every happening about town (but that's what Twitter is for, right?). I enjoy it when I can, or when the experience rings with a truth I am called to share. I'm looking at blogger responsibility in a new light.

So back to juggling. If you follow ChocoMeat then you've also probably noticed me increasingly mention my podcast The Table Set with Greg of Sippitysup and Andy of Wind Attack. We were invited to participate in this venture by the venerable Joy the Baker, which in all honesty is when I threw out the analytics and stopped questioning whether I had something to offer the world or not. Of course I did, and no longer just through my bourbon-stained blog. Thank you, Homefries.

The point of all of this, really, was to express that The Table Set has been allowing me to explore ChocoMeat's interests on a larger scale. Now once a week I get to talk about parties. Thoughtful entertaining, from small to large scale. Creating experiences. And of course what drink to pair it all with.

Our premiere podcast was about throwing a winning pool party. So when we discussed actually throwing a first-ever Table Set event to tie up summer, what better way?? Check it out.

For the party, I whipped up this version of the San Francisco prohibition classic Pisco Punch, made by infusing Pisco (a strong Peruvian spirit made from distilling fermented grapes) with fresh pineapple in place of traditional pineapple gum syrup. While you can discard the pineapple after infusing the Pisco, if you want a REAL party, toss them in the punch bowl like I did. Just warn your guests!

Pisco Punch
Adapted from Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club via New York Magazine

2 (750-ml) bottles of pisco capel
2 pineapples
4 limes, zested
32 oz simple syrup, chilled
2 white grapefruit
32 oz fresh lemon juice
2 l club soda
mint sprigs for garnish, optional
fresh hibiscus blossoms for garnish, optional

Make the pineapple Pisco: Cut pineapple into 1/2-inch chunks, and put into a large covered jar. Add the Pisco. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 3 days.
Make the lime syrup: Add the lime zest to 16 ounces of cold simple syrup. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain away zest and store in refrigerator.
Make the grapefruit syrup: Add the grapefruit zest to remaining 16 ounces of cold simple syrup. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain away zest and store in refrigerator.
Make the punch: In large bowl, combine pineapple infused Pisco and all of the pineapple chunks, lime syrup, grapefruit syrup, and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Pour in the club soda and add a large ice block into bowl just before serving. Garnish with mint sprigs and fresh hibiscus blossoms.

Listen to the Table Set here!
Download and subscribe on iTunes


  1. What a classy party. Everyone looks like they were having loads of fun. And the punch...A-mazing!!!! xo Melba

  2. We did! Wish you could have made it, Melba! :)

  3. were they real live Hawaiians too? ace.