“The man who sees, does, or thinks of anything else while he is making Punch may as well look for the Northwest Passage on Mutton Hill. A man can never make good punch unless he is satisfied, nay positive, that no man breathing can make better. I can and do make good Punch, because I do nothing else, and this is my way of doing it. I retire to a solitary corner with my ingredients ready sorted; they are as follows, and I mix them in the order they are here written. Sugar, twelve tolerable lumps; hot water, one pint; lemons, two, the juice and peel; old Jamaica rum, two gills; brandy, one gill; porter or stout, half a gill; arrack, a slight dash. I allow myself five minutes to make a bowl in the foregoing proportions, carefully stirring the mixture as I furnish the ingredients until it actually foams; and then Kangaroos! how beautiful it is!”  Popular Fallacies by Charles Lamb, 1826.


Note: Arrack is a pretty wide category of Asian spirits, made from coconut, sugarcane, rice or fruits, and furthermore, “arak” is a drink found in the Mediterranean and North Africa, flavored with anise, so it is hard to say what was intended in the recipe, so I tested it out with a variety of options.

PF Punch

4 tablespoons sugar
20 ounces hot water
Juice and peel of 2 lemons
10 ounces Jamaican rum
5 ounces brandy
2.5 ounces porter or stout beer
1/4 ounce absinthe or coconut rum
While stirring, combine all ingredients in the order listed and continue stirring until foamy.

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