Daniel Webster's Punch

Photo: Meredith Jenk
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins

Sherry, Bordeaux, Champagne, rum, and black tea meld with fruit in this knockout punch recipe that's adapted from "The Steward & Barkeeper's Manual" (1869). It can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.


  • 2 black tea bags, preferably PG Tips

  • 12 ounces Oleo Saccharum

  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), plus 2 more lemons, sliced into thin rounds, for serving

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Jamaican black rum, such as Hamilton

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) oloroso sherry, such as Lustau

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Bordeaux red wine

  • 1 pineapple, sliced into thin rounds, plus leaves for serving

  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne brut or prosecco brut, chilled

  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds, for serving

  • 12 star-anise pods, for serving

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving


  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags; let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add oleo saccharum, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is translucent. Remove lemon peels with a slotted spoon; discard. Stir in lemon juice, rum, sherry, and wine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  2. When ready to serve, line the inside of a large punch bowl with pineapple slices (do not overlap). Fill one-third of the way with large ice cubes. Slowly pour tea mixture into punch bowl, making sure not to disrupt pineapple slices. Top with Champagne; gently stir to incorporate. Float lemon and orange slices on surface; sprinkle with star anise and nutmeg. Serve over ice.

Cook's Notes

Oversize ice cubes are best, because they will melt slowly and won't dilute the punch as much; we like Tovolo King Cube ice trays (from $9 each, amazon.com).

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