Looking to start the New Year with a bang? Take a cue from the fine folks in Savannah, Georgia, who have been whipping up a notorious champagne cocktail known as Chatham Artillery Punch since, some say, the colonial period. The punch, originally concocted by Georgia’s oldest military unit, the Chatham Artillery, was mixed in large horse buckets and served at celebrations, including a presidential visit from James Monroe in 1819. With a recipe that calls for a mix of champagne, rum, brandy, and bourbon, it’s no wonder the punch has been called a “suave and deceitful brew.”
Over the years, many variations and additions have been made to the drink, and Damon Lee Fowler, author of the Savannah Cookbook, has put together a recipe that’s very close to the original (no horse bucket required). But be warned: Fowler says that the “innocent tasting but lethal” Chatham Artillery Punch has some morning-after recoil. Best cook up a batch of Hoppin’ John and collard greens.