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Daniel Webster’s Punch

December 2, 2010

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Daniel Webster, the Massachusetts senator, was one of the more outspoken statesmen of the mid-19th century and had a tendency to make his presence known. This recipe for a punch that bears his name will ensure your presence is remembered when you make it for friends.

1 750 ml bottle Jamaican rum
1 750 ml bottle cognac
1 750 ml bottle oloroso sherry
2 750 ml bottle Bordeaux wine
1 bottle Brut champagne
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
12 lemons
2 cups sugar
1 pint lemon juice
1 pint black tea (2 teaspoons loose black tea or two teabags, steeped for 10 minutes)
Using a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, peel lemons, trying to get as little of the white pith as possible. Muddle the peels with two cups of sugar and let sit for two hours to let the sugar wick out the lemon oil. Add 1 pint lemon juice and 1 pint black tea. Stir to dissolve sugar and strain into sealable 6-quart jug. Add cognac, oloroso sherry, rum, Bordeaux, pineapple and strawberries. Taste for sweetness, add more sugar if necessary, and refrigerate for one hour. To serve, pour into a 2-gallon bowl three-quarters full of ice cubes. Top off with a bottle of chilled Brut champagne.

Source: Steward + Barkeeper’s Manual, 1869 . Adapted from David Wondrich’s “Punch’’