Library Punch

Total Time:
2 hr 50 min
15 min
2 hr 30 min
5 min

12 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 lemons, 6 zest peeled in strips and juiced and 2 thinly sliced
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 cups simmering water
  • 4 cups brandy
  • 2 cups rum
  • 1 cup absinthe
  • 1/2 cup grenadine
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 dashes bitters
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 20 sprigs mint
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • In a large pot or bowl, stir to combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and pineapple. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  • Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the brandy, rum, absinthe, grenadine, cloves, coriander, nutmeg and bitters. Let stand, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  • In a medium saucepan, scald the milk, then add to the punch. The milk will curdle when mixed with the lemon juice and alcohol. Let stand for 1 hour.

  • Strain the punch through a double-cheesecloth or a coffee-filter-lined strainer. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

  • To serve, fill a large bowl with the punch and add the 2 sliced lemons. Fill a small glass with ice, add a mint sprig, then fill with punch. Repeat for the remaining cocktails.

Cook's Notes: The lemon, pineapple and sugar combines to make a mixture called Oleo-Saccharum which dates back to the 19th century, when it was the go-to ingredient for cocktails. It is a great sweetener and base for other beverages like iced teas or lemonade.

This mixture can be made 2 to 3 days ahead and kept refrigerated.

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