Regimental punches have been concocted in the South for ceremonial events ever since The War Between the States, and none is more famous (or infamous) than Savannah’s superpotent Chatham Artillery Punch, which locals make a week in advance of any big social shindig. According to the city’s resident epicure and a good friend,
Eight days before you plan to serve the punch, combine the tea leaves and water in a stainless-steel or enameled pot, cover with plastic wrap, and let steep overnight.
Strain the tea through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except the champagne. Stir till the sugar dissolves, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 week.
When ready to serve, pour the punch over a block of ice in a large punch bowl, add the champagne, stir briefly, and serve in punch cups.
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.