This is taken from a letter Dickens wrote in 1847 where he gave his recipe for punch. Lynne changed one or two directions given in the original recipe that she felt may be dangerous to do today. This is a strong punch. Serve it in small quantities.
Zest of lemons, cut into several pieces each
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 cups dark rum
1/2 cup brandy
Juice of 3 lemons
4 cups very hot water
More sugar to taste
1. In a 4-quart saucepan combine the lemon zest, sugar, rum, and the brandy. Warm over low heat.
2. Be sure there's no exhaust fan running. Stand well back as you light the liquid with a long match. When the flames have gone out, stir in the lemon juice and the water.
3. Taste for sugar. Bring the punch to a very gentle bubble, cover completely and cook 10 minutes.
4. Remove the lemon zest. Set aside up to 3 hours, or refrigerate overnight.
5. Serve warm, ladled into handled cups.
Note from Lynne: My own touch here would be a few cinnamon sticks added with the lemon zest.
Adapted from The Charles Dickens Cookbook, by Brenda Marshall (Personal Library, Toronto, 1981).
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.