Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Punch

Unfortunately, there was no time for a photo of the punch before it was gone. That’s OK—I don’t feel like bothering with the camera when we have this anyway. It’s served at the end of the caroling at the high point of my housemate’s Christmas party. While he has most of the company gathered around the fireplace in the front of the house, a couple of my homies and I are in the kitchen singing along with them (sort of) and making this punch.

The recipe I use is adapted from one for English Christmas Punch I first found in John Poister’s New American Bartender’s Guide, one of the first things I read on mixed drinks. The original recipe calls for flaming the rum in the sugar, which sounds amazing but too much to manage in a narrow San Francisco house packed to the rafters with guests and antique Christmas decorations.

English Christmas Punch
  • 2 bottles dry red wine (Chianti)
  • 750 ml dark Jamaica rum
  • 3 c strong black tea (5 bags English Breakfast)
  • 1 lb sugar
  • juice of 2 Valencia oranges
  • juice of 2 lemons
Melt the sugar in the red wine on the stove. Add the rum. It takes a while to get it to the desired warmth while heating it gently. (I’m always trying to time this to coincide with the end of the caroling, and I just never know.) Combine juice and tea in a heat-proof punch bowl. Pour booze mixture into the tea and citrus and serve immediately.

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