A Very Ancient Craft
This is a wonderful drink on a cold night, to be enjoyed at home prior to going to bed or as a welcome to guests coming in from the frost. It is also a festive drink, and can help any party to go with a real swing. There is no prescribed recipe and you can add whatever wines and spices you have available. The author has found, however, that the following basic recipe has been extremely successful on a great many occasions.
6 bottles of wine, predominantly red
1 1/2 to 2 Ib. sugar
1 oz. root ginger well bruised
Rind and juice of 4 large or 6 small lemons
For preference all wines should be red, though this is not essential and elderberry wine--no matter how rough--is particularly suitable. If the wine is already sweet 1 1/2 Ib. sugar is enough, if rather dry then you will need the 2 Ib. The finished Punch should taste quite sweet.
Put the sugar and wine in a preserving pan and the spices and lemon rind in a piece of muslin, which should hang in the wine. Place the preserving pan on the stove and warm the wine until it is 150"F. this should be measured carefully with a suitable thermometer. At this temperature the alcohol has not yet started to come off, the wine tastes quite hot enough and yet it is not so hot as to break a glass. If a punch bowl is to be used it should be thoroughly warmed so that the wine does not cool too rapidly when poured into it. The lemon juice should be stirred in just before serving, and after removing the spices. If you wish, half a bottle of rum may be added, but this is by no means necessary, though it does, of course, add to the favour enormously.
For appearance' sake a small lemon or orange may be cut into thin slices and floated on top of the punch.