Streams

Recipes from Saveur Magazine

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

REGENT’S PUNCH

MAKES 3 QUARTS

This tea-infused champagne punch makes an elegant centerpiece for any festive occasion.

1 cup sugar
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 lemons
2 oranges
1 seville orange (also called bitter or sour orange)
2 green tea bags (or 2 tsp. green tea leaves)
1 cup brandy, preferably VSOP cognac
1⁄4 cup dark Jamaican rum
1⁄4 cup arrack liquor, preferably Batavia-Arrack van Oosten, or cachaça
2 750-ml bottles brut champagne, chilled
Freshly grated nutmeg

1. In a 1-qt. saucepan, combine 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1⁄4 cup water. Stir over high heat until sugar dissolves; transfer to a bowl along with pineapple. Allow to macerate in refrigerator for at least 8 hours to make a pineapple syrup. Strain and reserve; discard solids.

2. Using a peeler, peel lemons, oranges, and seville orange, taking off as little white pith as possible. Transfer peels to a heavy bowl; reserve fruit. Add remaining sugar; use a muddler or a wooden spoon to vigorously crush sugar and peels together until sugar turns faintly yellow and slushy (see Mastering Muddling).

3. In a medium bowl, steep tea in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain tea over lemon and sugar mixture; stir until sugar dissolves. Juice reserved fruit into tea mixture. Strain through a sieve into another bowl; discard solids. Stir in pineapple syrup, brandy, rum, and arrack. Chill mixture. To serve, combine mixture and champagne in a punch bowl along with a large block of ice (see Holidays on Ice). Garnish with nutmeg.

FLAMING PUNCH
(Punschglühbowle)

MAKES 3 QUARTS

The name of this flaming red wine punch translates from the German as punch glow bowl. This recipe is based on one in the 1905 collection Coolers and Punches from the German Army's Maneuvers and Field Deployment.

3 bottles light-bodied red wine, such as beaujolais
1 750-ml bottle arrack liquor, preferably Batavia-Arrack van Oosten or cachaça
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 seville orange (also called bitter or sour orange) thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

1. In a 6-qt. pot, bring red wine and arrack to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the sugar along with the orange and lemon slices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer the punch to a heavy heatproof bowl. (A non-heatproof bowl may crack.)

2. Dip a small metal ladle into the hot punch; touch a lit match to the surface of the punch in the ladle to ignite it. Pour the flaming punch back into the bowl. Serve immediately so that the punch remains aflame in the glass.

Captain Radcliffe’s Punch

MAKES 3 QUARTS

This smooth-drinking white wine– and cognac-based punch is inspired by one described in a poem by the 17th-century English army captain and courtier Alexander Radcliffe. As with many punches, this one tastes the best when chilled by a single large block of ice instead of fast-melting cubes, which water down the punch too quickly.

4 lemons
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 cups sweet white wine, preferably sauternes
1 750-ml bottle of brandy, preferably VSOP cognac
6 cups chilled water
Freshly grated nutmeg

1. Using a peeler, peel lemons, taking off as little white pith as possible. Transfer peels to a heavy bowl; reserve lemons. Add sugar; use a muddler or a wooden spoon to vigorously crush sugar and peels together until the sugar turns faintly yellow and slushy.

2. Juice the reserved lemons and add the juice to the bowl along with the peels. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a punch bowl; strain the lemon and sugar mixture into the punch bowl; discard solids. Stir in the wine and the brandy. Chill. To serve, stir in water and place a large block of ice in the bowl. Garnish with nutmeg.

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