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Jerry Thomas' Regent's Punch

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Of all the punches in the world, I think this may be one of the more interesting. It comes from Jerry Thomas' 1887 Bar-Tenders Guide and I have adapted it a bit for modern ingredients. The main change is that the recipe as printed called for Capillaire. This was originally a medicinal syrup made from the maidenhair fern to which orange-flower water and honey were often added. Over the years it transformed to become, essentially, an orange simple syrup and there is a recipe for that below.

Other than that slight update, this recipe is unchanged and is filled with interesting flavors in keeping with the brandy-rum punches of Thomas' time. Notably, this one mixes both green tea and Champagne along with a considerable amount of lemon and orange (curacao) flavors. The Batavia Arrack is a special ingredient seen often in these punches and was used often to enhance citrus flavors. One place to find it is K&L Wine Merchants.

If you are looking for a unique punch for your next party, you may want to give this classic a try.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 25-5 oz servings

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Combine the liquors, tea, lemon, and syrup in a punch bowl and mix well.
  2. Immediately before serving add ice, Champagne, and fruit slices.
  3. Serve in punch glasses.

*To Make Orange Flower Simple Syrup:

This makes an orange-flavored simple syrup that is not quite as thick as a rich (2:1) syrup. More orange flower water can be added to taste, however it is a rather concentrated flavor and it can easily be overpowering.
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 ounces orange flower water
  • 3 cups demerara sugar
  1. Bring the waters to a boil.
  2. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. (Note: Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.)
  4. Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle.
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