Light Dragoon’s Punch


The return of a classic Charleston cocktail

Photo: Johnny Autry

Bartenders and mixologists are also rediscovering brandy’s virtues, mining the early history of cocktail making for recipes—and finding the spirit front and center. At Husk, in Charleston, a centuries-old libation called the Light Dragoon’s Punch is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. According to Rod Weaver, the head bartender, it originated in a dusty old tome from 1783 at the Preservation Society of Charleston.


    • 2 cups raw sugar

    • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice, from about 12 lemons

    • 8 cups black tea

    • 8 cups brandy

    • 2 cups Bermuda or Barbados rum

    • 1/2 cup peach brandy

    • Peels of 3 lemons, cut into slivers

    • 3 cups soda water


  1. Combine all ingredients except soda water in a large bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Add ice (preferably in one large block) and top with soda water before serving. Alternatively, top each glass with 1 ounce of soda water before serving.

Cocktail recipe from Husk in Charleston, South Carolina.