Chatham Artillery Punch

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    1 gallon

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

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, Damon Lee Fowler, the original punch base was devised just before the Civil War to honor a military group called the Republican Blues and was probably mixed in horse-watering buckets and left to steep in large tubs several days before ice and prodigious quantities of champagne were added. Today, serving methods are a bit more civilized, and all I can say is that the one time I made this punch for a small pork barbecue event held on my outdoor deck, there wasn’t a drop left in the punch bowl—or a sober soul in sight.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces green tea leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 quart dry white wine
  • cups bourbon
  • cups dark rum
  • cups gin
  • cups brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 quart champagne

Method

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.