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Milk Punches and Dragoons - Three Historical Punch Recipes for the Season!

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons literally right around the corner, the Nerds thought it would be an appropriate time to introduce a trio of historical brandy and rum punch recipes from the late 18th and early 19th Centuries for your enjoyment. Without further hesitation, here are three recipes for the late Fall and early Winter seasons!!

Clarified Milk Punch (18th Century) Ingredients 8 lemons 1 pineapple 1 pound sugar 2 cinnamon sticks 6 cloves 20 coriander seeds 1 ounce Peychaudís bitters 2 ounces absinthe 1 cup arrack 2 1/2 cups rum 2 1/2 cups cognac 2 1/2 cups brewed green or black tea 2 cups boiling water 5 cups whole milk Instructions Zest the lemons (removing only the yellow part of the peel) and juice them. Peel and cut pineapple into large chunks. Put them in a large bowl. Coarsely grind the cinnamon, clove, and coriander seeds into the bowl. Add the lemon peels, lemon juice, pineapple chunks, ground spices, and sugar. Muddle the mixture using a potato masher or large fork. Add the bitters, absinthe, arrack, cognac, and rum. Stir to combine. Add the green tea and boiling water. Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator to infuse the flavors. Once infused, strain the mixture into a pitcher or other vessel. Discard the solids. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add to the strained mixture. The milk will begin to curdle. Gently stir to combine. Slowly strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Repeat straining two or three times. You want a clear liquid. Serve immediately or store the clarified punch in a sterilized glass bottle in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. To serve, pour 3 ounces of milk punch over a large ice cube and garnish with a lemon peel and freshly grated nutmeg.

Brandy Milk Punch (Late 18th or Early 19th Century) Ingredients 2 ounces brandy 1 ounce rum 1 ounce simple syrup 4 ounces milk Garnish: nutmeg (ground) Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional: 1 egg white Instructions Gather the ingredients. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the brandy, rum, simple syrup, milk, and optional vanilla extract and egg white. Shake well (if you choose to add egg, shake until it hurts). Strain into an old-fashioned glass with or without crushed ice. Dust with grated nutmeg for garnish. Serve and enjoy!

Charleston Light Dragoon Punch (Late 18th Century) Ingredients 4 quarts of black tea 4 cups sugar 1 quart and one cup lemon juice 1 quart dark rum (Jamaican) 4 quarts California Brandy (any non-gourmet brandy) ½ pint peach (or apricot) brandy Equal parts Club soda Instructions

Make the black tea/lemon juice mixture, stirring in sugar when hot. Add the alcohol. Set aside or bottle for later use. In a punch bowl place blocks of ice and garnishes of lemon and orange peels. Pour in equal parts of the tea-brandy-rum mixture with club soda. In the tradition of our favorite bad-ass smuggler, Sarah Smith Emory of Newburyport, we hope your next social gathering will include “case bottles replenished with choice liquors, and a good supply of New England rum provided for the refreshment of the more humble class of visitors.”

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