Garden & Gun magazine doesn’t provide much editorial on the former and even less on the latter. It’s one of those trendy mags that caters to what used to be called Yuppies with decorating tips, travel advice and paeans to the pleasures of unbridled consumption. Still, we keep our eye on their efforts and thank the eds for unearthing a venerable New Year’s Eve libation with a gun theme: Chatham Artillery Punch. FYI guys: the Chatham Artillery was organized in 1785—and disorganized pretty much immediately after serving this drink. Make the jump for the recipe.

Makes 25 servings

2 ounces of green tea leaves
4 large lemons
1/2 pound turbinado or light brown sugar
1 quart dark rum
1 quart brandy
1 quart rye or bourbon whiskey
3 bottles champagne

1. Soak the tea leaves 8 hours or overnight in a quart of cold water. Strain the liquid from the leaves into a large container that will hold all the spirits (use wooden, porcelain, or glass; do not use plastic or metal). Juice 3 lemons through a strainer into the tea and add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved.

2. Stir in the rum, brandy, and whiskey, cover, and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or for up to a week. It’s pretty well indestructible at this point.

3. When ready to serve the punch, thinly slice 1 lemon. To serve the punch, allow 6 cups of the base for every bottle of champagne. First pour the brew over an ice ring or large block of ice in a punch bowl. Add the sliced lemon and swirl in the champagne, being careful not to disturb its effervescence. Serve with caution.

7 Responses to Chatham Artillery Punch

  1. 3 quarts of liquor and 3 bottles of champagne is only 25 servings? That is almost 4 oz of liquor per serving, plus the champagne.

    • TTACer: If you’d ever been around field artillerymen, you’d understand. Those guys are some serious drinkers.

      I think all those loud cannon shots rattle their brains a bit.

      (FWIW, I retired from the Headquarters battery of the 115th FA Brigade, WYANRG.)

      • The brother of my roommate when I lived in New Hampshire was a Marine in the first Gulf War. His platoon was about to be a speedbump in front of a line of Iraqi tanks when the tanks were destroyed by arty at almost danger close. Him an a buddy came up to ski and stayed with us. Naturally we all imbibed a little, so because they were both stone deaf they would get louder and louder. Every five minutes we would tell them they were shouting. They would quiet down briefly, then “PEETA, GET ME ANOTHER BEAH” (did I mention they were from Mass?).

  2. “Serve with caution?” You damned well better! This devil’s brew is probably more flammable than pure naphtha, and only slightly less toxic.

    But who cares? To the Queen’s Health, gentlemen!

  3. Sounds about right for 1785.

    America was founded by serious boozers.

    Prohibition during the 1920s and 1930s killed off or severely damaged all sorts of American drinking traditions (like good beer) and some of it is just now getting back.

    For example, in the late 1700s into the 1800s, hard cider was a very common American breakfast drink. Today, good hard cider is just about impossible to find in most locales.

    I recently read an account of the battle of Antietam in the American Civil War, when an officer in the US Sharpshooters was slightly wounded, and a fellow officer, seeing his comrade injured, offered him a double-slug of bourbon from his regulation flask.

    The wounded officer immediately felt better, and returned to the fighting.

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