Recipes

Sean Brock’s The Charleston Light Dragoon Punch 1792

Sean Brock

Husk - Charleston, SC and Nashville

Adapted from Heritage (Artisan Books, 2014).

Although JBF Award winner Sean Brock is a self-proclaimed bourbon buff, his innate Southern love of entertaining extends across the spirit spectrum. This punch is a mélange of the historic and the present-day South, updated from an antebellum militia recipe found by a friend of Brock’s at the South Carolina Historical Society. Mixing a sweet tea base with rum and brandy, this crowd-pleasing punch is a perfect expression of Southern hospitality.

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 7 bags black tea, preferably American Classic
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice
  • 12.7 ounces brandy (California is fine) 
  • 12.7 ounces rum, preferably Cockspur Barbados 
  • 6.4 ounces peach brandy 
  • 20 large ice cubes 
  • 2 ¾ cups soda water
  • 20 thin slivers of lemon peel (from about 3 lemons)

Method

Make the punch base: bring the water to a boil in a medium stainless-steel saucepan over high heat. Add the tea, remove the pan from the heat, and let the tea steep for 20 minutes. 

Strain the tea through a tea strainer or a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-gallon container. Add the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, brandy, rum, and peach brandy to the tea mixture, cover, and refrigerate until cold. 

Make the cocktail: ladle 3 ounces of the punch base into each punch cup. Add an ice cube, top off with 1 ½ ounces of soda water, and garnish with a sliver of lemon peel.

Yield

Serves 20