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Rum Punch Challenges Old Town

Local restaurants and out-of-town distilleries gathered at Gadsby's Tavern Museum May 21 to compete in the first annual Great Rum Punch Challenge. The competition was an homage to the drink-of-choice for Alexandrian dignitaries of the 18th century.

Walking into Gadsby's Tavern 200-years ago, one would likely hear the murmur of political rhetoric and the mug-tappings for another refill. But the only politicking at Gadsby's May 21 was over who was serving the best rum punch.

Departing from the communal punch bowl shared by tavern guests during colonial times, representatives from Avalon Caterers; Pusser's Rum Ltd. of Annapolis, Md.; Mango Mike's; Dogfish Head Craft Distillery of Rehoboth, Del.; Chart House Restaurants, and Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant served plastic cups of their original, mixed concoctions.

After two hours of deliberation by the 75 patrons acting as judges, Dogfish Head Craft Distillery's Blackbeard's Revenge swashbuckled its mixture to the winner's circle.

Patrons were treated to the private-stock reserve of Mike Gerhart and Katie Muleh's year-old-oak-aged-rum that Gerhart called "a true pirates rum punch."

The other winner was Gadsby's Tavern Museum, which raised more than $5,000 for educational programs, research and preservation of the museum.

Gadsby's Tavern Museum is located at 134 N. Royal Street.

<ro> The Drink of Old Town

<lst>"Dark Storm"

Avalon Caterers, Washington, D.C.

Cruzan Dark Rum, ginger, peach juice, floating lemons and limes.

"Pusser's Rum Punch"

Pusser's Road Town Pub, Annapolis, Md.

Pusser's Rum, 2 parts Mango juice, 1 part pineapple and orange juice, splash of grenadine, sprinkle of ground nutmeg.

"Jamaican-Me-Punch"

Mango Mike's, Alexandria

Cruzan Light and Dark Rum, pineapple and mango juice, ginger, lemon grass, Star Anise.

"Miss Alice's BeSweet"

Bittersweet, Alexandria

Cruzan Light and Dark Rum, 1/3 strawberry nectar, 1/3 peach nectar, 1/3 pear nectar.

"Black Beard's Revenge"

Dogfish Head Craft Distillery, Rehoboth, Del.

Year-old-oak-aged-rum, orange and pineapple juice, bitters, two secret ingredients.

"Mariner's Rum"

Chart House Restaurant, Alexandria

Cruzan Light Rum, Creme De Noyaux, splash of grenadine, sprite, pineapple and orange juice.

"Rigger's Repast"

Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant, Alexandria

Cruzan Light and Dark Rum, pineapple juice, Creme de Casis.