Many holidays are associated with a certain cocktail. We kick the New Years off with champagne and use the same to toast your Valentine. We celebrate the Kentucky Derby with mint juleps (it's a holiday) and lets not forget the eggnog at Christmas. What does the 4th of July get? Last minute wine/beer that you picked up from the gas station on your way to cookout? Come on, it's America's birthday! You can do better! Why not show up this year with a historical punch that will have you seeing fireworks even if your local show was canceled!
I don't know why the wife picked this punch as our 4th of July libation of choice but it has been a tradition for almost 15 years. Today, I share with you the Charleston Light Dragoon Punch. The original recipe, from the Junior League of Charleston's cookbook, "Charleston Receipts" is quite sugary and serves 300-350 servings!. Luckily, Sean Brock and his team created a lighter version of this recipe which is absolutely delicious. We've paired his recipe down to serve approximately 10 servings. But this recipe can be easily divided or multiplied based on your party size.
Charleston Light Dragoon's Punch
1 cups raw sugar
3/4 cups fresh lemon juice (save the peels from 2 lemons)
4 cups unsweetened black tea
4 cups brandy
1 cup Bermuda or Barbados rum
1/4 cup peach brandy
Peels from 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups club soda
Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a large pitcher and stir to combine. Cover and chill for a few hours up to 4 days in advance, stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, add ice to the pitcher. You can then either add the club soda all at once or top each serving of punch with 1 ounce of club soda. Enjoy!