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Recipe: 'Bombay Government Punch'

Punch: The Delights (And Dangers) Of The Flowing Bowl

To prepare, first stir 2 cups of Demerara or Turbinado sugar in 1 cup water over a low flame until the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Let this cool. Then squeeze 12 limes and combine the juice in a large bowl with 12 oz of the Demerara sugar syrup and stir. Add 2 750-ml bottles of fragrant, Navy-style rum or 1 bottle of rum and 1 750-ml bottle of VSOP-grade cognac and top off with 2 quarts water or, for a more stimulating concoction, cold black or green tea (use 2 1/2 tablespoons loose tea or 8 tea-bags). Stir again and refrigerate. Half an hour before serving, add a large block of ice (this can be made by freezing 2 quarts of water in a bowl overnight), taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary, with the additional syrup. Grate nutmeg over the top. Serves 20, or 10 journalists.

A Note on Ingredients:
For the rum, you want something rich and funky, not smooth and clean. Suggested brands include Smith & Cross, Wray & Nephew, Lemon Hart, El Dorado, Banks 5 Island and 10 Cane or, for a truly wild punch, Batavia Arrack van Oosten. Some of those are overproof, in which case they may be combined with a mellower rum or, of course, cognac.

From Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl by David Wondrich. Copyright 2010 David Wonderich. Excerpted by permission of Perigree Trade.

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