Holiday Cheer

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


First–winners!  The winner of a free download of A Very Tudor Christmas is Lesley A!  Email me at amccabe7551 AT yahoo and I will get your copy out to you…

I hope you all have your Thanksgiving plans for next week (my family is going out, because 1-no one wants to get up in the middle of the night to cook the turkey and 2-no one wants to clean up after!), and that you haven’t yet turned on your Christmas lights, as my across-the-street neighbor has (seriously, dude!!  It is not even near December yet!).  In the meantime, I am working on a fun new project with a group of writer friends I have “martini night” with every Friday.  (though weirdly, none of us drink straight-up martinis).  It’s a series of 4 connected novellas set in a 1920s speakeasy, based on the bar where we meet (which is a very old building, but I think it was actually a doughnut shop in the 1920s…).  I will have many more details later, but in the meantime I was wondering what a Regency gentleman or lady might enjoy for a holiday time libation.

HogarthDrinkingSo I Googled “18th century punch”….

Here is a great article from about the history of punch (check out the “Regent’s Punch” with over 10 ingredients!!)





Here is a recipe that would, as my grandfather used to say when he took a particularly hearty shot of some kind of bourbon, “put hair on your chest,” and one called Fish House Punch, after a tavern in Philadelphia…

½ pint light-bodied West Indies Rum (a.k.a. light Puerto Rican or Cuban)
½ pint peach brandy
½ pint lemon juice
5 tablespoons bitters (Angostura is about the only kind left and this recipe uses about half a bottle)
4 tabelspoons brown sugar

Stir thoroughly. Pour over a large block of ice. Add 2-3 pints effervescent mineral water


  • Peels of 8 lemons
  • 2.5 cups Demerara sugar
  • 16 oz Boiling water
  • 16 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (750-mL) bottle Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum (or other strong, pungent Jamaican rum)
  • 12 oz VSOP cognac
  • 12 oz Real peach brandy*
  • 3 qt (96 oz) Cold water
  • Garnish: Grated nutmeg
  • Glass: Punch

At least a day ahead, fill a 2-quart bowl with water and freeze until completely solid. In a large punch bowl, muddle the lemon peels and sugar. Let the mixture stand for at least 3 hours. Add the boiling water, stirring until as much as possible of the sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. To serve, add the ice block and garnish liberally with freshly grated nutmeg. This recipe serves 25.

What are you planning to drink for your holiday???

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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