Regent’s Punch

As complex as the Garrick Club Punch is simple, this fellow survivor from the Golden Age of Punch was consumed with gusto by the dissolute eldest son of George III, both while he was Prince Regent and when he ruled as King George IV. It’s about as aristocratic as a beverage can get, and well worth the trouble. Serves 16.

Juice and peel of 4 lemons
Juice and peel of 6 small oranges, 2 of them Seville oranges, if possible (Sevilles are difficult to find, and their season is extremely short; try www.citrusranch.com)
4 bags or teaspoons green tea leaves
8 ounces superfine sugar
16 ounces VSOP cognac
5 ounces dark, full-bodied rum
3 ounces Wray & Nephew White Overproof rum
4 ounces pineapple syrup (made by soaking a cubed pineapple overnight in enough rich simple syrup to cover it; this will keep for a while if refrigerated, especially if a little high-proof rum or grain alcohol is added to prevent spoilage)
2 bottles chilled brut champagne

To assemble, steep the citrus peels and tea in a small pan with four cups of boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove (or strain, if you used loose tea) and discard them. Stir in the sugar and add the citrus juice. Pour this into your punchbowl, add the cognac, rums, and pineapple syrup, and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to serve, slide in a large block of ice and pour in the champagne.

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