Punch Romaine, The Boozy Shaved Iced To Cleanse Your Palate

Nothing beats a chilled treat on a sweltering hot day. Whether that be an ice cream cone, juicy watermelon, a slushy, or a frosty brew, it will always satisfy those heatwave hankerings. If the goal is to get a little buzz going, there are plenty of frozen options that are sure to deliver and some even have dual functions. Punch Romaine is the ultimate refreshment. Not to be confused with the leafy lettuce, Punch Romaine is part cocktail, part dessert, and downright delicious. Having originated in early twentieth-century France, many recipes have been adapted over the years, but the standby ingredients are rum, some citrus, Champagne, and plenty of ice.

During the early 1900s, chef Georges Auguste Escoffier made an incredible epiphany: People love to eat their liquor. With this newfound revelation, Escoffier introduced boozy shaved ice and it quickly gained popularity. Punch Romaine, in particular, developed a glamorous reputation thanks to both its sophisticated presentation and palate-cleansing abilities. Unfortunately, the elegant dessert also gained notoriety for being the final treat served to the elite passengers on the Titanic in 1912.

Modernize the age-old aperitif at home

Despite Punch Romaine's untimely rise to fame, it has stayed rather constant in the world of mixologists. The core of the cocktail-dessert-aperitif hybrid is shaved ice, which is gracefully served in a coupe glass and acts as a delicate palate cleanser. Even with recipe variations, it's always served frozen or semi-frozen, similar to a granita. Leslie Pariseau and Talia Baiocchi, authors of "Spritz," note that the Punch Romaine jumped from a granita to more of a cocktail over the years, and they've now reimagined it as a "frothy spritz" poured over a mountain of shaved ice

Their rendition is rather simple, containing egg white, simple syrup, freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice, Champagne, and, of course, rum. Everything other than the bubbles is shaken without ice to dissolve the egg white. The mixture is then shaken with some ice to keep it chilled, strained over a cup of shaved ice, and topped with a Champagne float. The result is a stunning rum-infused shaved ice, standing tall in stemware. If rum and bubbles don't seem to cut it, some recipes call for white wine as well.