Schley Punch – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’
Named after Commodore Winfield Scott Schley, of Spanish-American War fame. For many years, officers of the American Navy were divided in their claims as to who won the battle of Santiago—Admiral Schley, who did the work, or Admiral Samson, who was in command, but some distance away.
Juice and rind of one-half Lime
One-fourth spoon Sugar
One-third jigger St. Croix Rum
Two-thirds jigger Whiskey
Shake; strain; fill with Seltzer
These two guys must have hated each other.
Schley was a junior commodore, lowest on the list and was sent to Cuba to hunt for the Spanish fleet during the Spanish American war in 1898 and after leaving Santiago on the southern coast he ‘inexplicably’ turned around mid-voyage and headed back to find the Spanish fleet in harbour. What followed was Schley destroying much of the enemy fleet of the coast of Daiquiri (yes, that Daiquiri) while Samson his superior struggled to arrive to help, finally getting to the battle after it was long over. Despite his failure to take part, his dispatch back to fleet headquarters painted himself as the tactical genius and didn’t even mention Schley by name, and later he even had him court martialled, it would seem solely out of professional jealousy as by all accounts Schleys command of the battle was nothing short of genius. Despite Samson’s best efforts Schley was seen as not only the ‘hero of the battle, but also of the war’ and hey, we don’t have a Samson Punch.
Like a lot of punch recipes, it doesn’t look amazing on paper, and to be honest I’m always slightly amazed when a recipe like this turns out to be not only drinkable, but damn nice, as is the case with this recipe. Well worth a try, if at the very least merely to toast Schleys efforts of the coast of Daiquiri……