Captain Radcliffe's Punch circa 1680
(adapted from Dave Wondrich's Punch, courtesy of Chapel Tavern, Reno) Zest from two lemons, keeping in long strips using a vegetable peeler, as well as juice
25 ounces (aka 1 750-milliliter) French Sauternes
50 ounces (aka 2 750-milliliter) VSOP Cognac (or something fairly inexpensive)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Large chunk of ice, made using a fun-shaped bowl or a whittled store-bought block In a punch bowl, add zest from two lemons (keeping them in long strips) and cover with 8 ounces of good sugar (such as organic evaporated cane sugar). Muddle zests with sugar to extract oils and let sit for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Remove zests. Add 8 ounces hot water and stir to dissolve sugar. Add Sauternes, VSOP, and 8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice strained through a fine mesh strainer. Stir to combine. Add chunk of ice.
Taste the punch. At this point it is a touch on the boozy side, which is what is desired in some company; but, remember punch is a drink of immense social capacity, and return trips to the bowl are a great opportunity to converse with your fellow revelers. With this in mind, it may be best to make your punch with a little less "punch" than the average cocktail. Start by adding 8 ounces cold water and taste again. A flavorful libation that can be consumed in some quantity is the intended goal. Also remember that the block of ice will melt and further dilute your punch.




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