The word "punch" is a derivative of the Hindi word "panca," which means "five." When it originated in India centuries ago, it had five ingredients: citrus juice, water, arrack (a coarse spirit made of palm tree sap), sugar and spices. When it migrated to Colonial America, arrack was replaced by rum, which was plentiful because of the molasses trade with the Caribbean, and every tavern had its signature recipe. This classic punch recipe was made famous at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. —Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun
- Peel from 4 lemons (removed in strips with a vegetable peeler)
- 1/3 Cup superfine sugar
- 2 Cups fresh raspberries, divided
- 3 Cups sloe gin, such as Plymouth Sloe Gin
- 2 Cups fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups dark rum, such as Coruba dark Jamaican rum
- 6 Cups ice cubes
- 1 ice block (made by freezing water in a loaf pan)
- 2 Cups chilled Brut Champagne
- Lemon slices
Step 1: In a large bowl, place the lemon peel strips cut from 4 lemons. Add 1/3 cup superfine sugar and mash with a muddler or wooden spoon to infuse the sugar with the lemon. Add 1 1/4 cups raspberries and mash to blend.
Step 2: Pour in 3 cups sloe gin, 2 cups fresh lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups dark rum. Add 6 cups ice cubes; stir to blend.
Step 3: Refrigerate punch for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Place 1 ice block in a punch bowl. Strain punch over the ice block into the punch bowl. Add 2 cups chilled Brut Champagne; stir to blend. Garnish with lemon slices and remaining raspberries.