Charles Dickens’s Punch

December 17, 2021
Charles Dickens'S Punch Recipe With Tea Lemon Juice Rum Sugar And Cognac Brandy

There’s hardly anything more Diskensian than punch. Charles Dickens repeatedly wove spirits into his writing, most notably a holiday punch in A Christmas Carol. This feature contributes to this recipe being traditionally served around the Christmas holiday.

Dickens loved punch so much that he earned a recipe in his honor. This feet-tingling mixture combines Cognac, rum, black tea, citrus, and sugar that is “cooked” by lighting it on fire. Aside from creating quite a show with the blaze, it will cook off some of the alcohol, of which there is plenty.

Dickens also wrote about the Sherry Cobbler in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, which lead to the cocktail’s international presence.

Note, this recipe is in a large batch format and serves up to 10, and can be served either hot or chilled. Take care when lighting on fire and read fully as it can take up to 3 hours when served chilled.


3/4 cups SUGAR
3 whole LEMON, Reserve peels and juice (about 3/4 of a cup)
2 cups DARK RUM
1 1/4 cups COGNAC, Or brandy
5 cups BLACK TEA, or hot water
1 whole LEMON, Sliced for garnish
1 whole ORANGE, Sliced for garnish
1 whole NUTMEG, Freshly grated for garnish
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