Spring Fling Recipe: Second Horse Punch
Chad works at an 18th century historic site and has used this recipe before for historic gatherings. The history is fuzzy, but it is supposedly from the Second Lighthorse Brigade and a muddy or rusty (depending on the story) stirrup was thrown in to the punch to man it up a bit.
18th century punch recipes are delicious and an easy way to serve festive booze for everyone without having to hire a bartender to mix cocktails or make everyone drink out of a bottle or plastic cup. This brew can be a bit potent as it goes down smoothly. Despite the peach brandy, it does not taste like peach – more like a slightly spicy, gingery, bubbly potion of deliciousness. Here is the “original” recipe:
½ pint light-bodied West Indies Rum (a.k.a. light Puerto Rican or Cuban)
½ pint peach brandy
½ pint lemon juice
5 tablespoons bitters (Angostura is about the only kind left and this recipe uses about half a bottle)
4 tabelspoons brown sugar
Stir thoroughly. Pour over a large block of ice. Add 2-3 pints effervescent mineral water.
We like to substitute ginger ale for the mineral water and while this can be drunk fresh, it mellows out after aging for a few months. We also use a 2-1 ratio of the rum mixture to ginger ale (1 ½ pints mix to 3 pints sparkling). Half the mix plus a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale makes a mild and delicious punch and pretty much fills up the bowl above. For something more potent, reduce the amount of ginger ale.
This punch is delicious whatever the season. For other 18th century punch recipes, check out “The Society of 18th Century Gentlemen.” For more about punch in history, read this Saveur article. I, for one, can’t wait to try cherry bounce once the cherry season starts.