So, I promised I would tell you how much Southerners loved George Washington back in the day. And here’s how the story goes.
The Chatham Artillery was a local militia that was formed in 1786. Militia members participated in the Oconee Wars between 1789 and 1793, and George Washington wanted to thank them for that service. He came to Savannah in May of 1791, and during his visit, presented the Chatham Artillery with 2 cannon, one that was captured at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War, and one that was presented as a gift to the young country by France.
The Chatham Artillery held a ball in his honor, and what’s a ball without punch? So they made a special punch to celebrate George’s visit. Here’s the recipe…
Chatham Artillery Punch – For 100 People (Or Ten Admirals)
1 ½ gal. Catawba Wine
½ gal. Rum (probably Jamaican)
1 qt. Gin
1 qt. Brandy
½ pt. Benedictine
2 qt. Maraschino Cherries
1 ½ qt. Rye Whiskey
1 ½ gal. Strong Tea (probably black)
2 ½ lbs. brown sugar
1 ½ qts. Orange juice
1 ½ qts. Lemon Juice
Mix from thirty-six to forty-eight hours before serving. Add one case of champagne when ready to serve! This punch recipe makes 5 gallons!
Some sources on the internet say that this punch was dreamed up sometime in the 1850s. Others say this was the punch served during George Washington’s visit. You’ll have to decide. Whatever the answer is – wow! That’s some punch!