Oxford Punch

11 lemon

Ingredient: lemon

What it is:  Fruit
Common name for Citrus limon.

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6 orange

Ingredient: orange

What it is:  Fruit
Fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange.

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6 wine-glass calf's foot jelly

Ingredient: calf's foot jelly

Also Known As:  gelatin What it is:  Additive
Translucent, colorless, odorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. Gelatin is used for the clarification of juices, such as apple juice, and of vinegar.

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2 quart water

Ingredient: water

What it is:  Additive
Ubiquitous chemical substance that is composed of hydrogen and oxygen and is essential for all forms of life -- also a component of all drinks.

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boiling
1 bottle capillaire

Ingredient: capillaire

Also Known As:  capillary What it is:  Syrup
Syrup made with dried maindenhair fern, sugar and orange flower water. Not commercially available, but can be approximated by combining orange flower water, Curaçao or Triple sec to simple syrup.

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1/2 pint sherry wine

Ingredient: sherry wine

What it is:  Sherry
Fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez, Spain. In Spanish, it is called vino de Jerez. Typically dry, "fino" sherry when only the generic name is used.

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1 pint Cognac

Ingredient: Cognac

What it is:  Brandy

Variety of grape brandy, produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town of Cognac.

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1 pint Jamaica rum

Ingredient: Jamaica rum

What it is:  Rum
Generic term for dark rum from Jamaica. Dark rum differs from gold in that some residual molasses is retained in the final product, in order to slightly sweeten the flavor. Very popular in the late 1800s and superior to most New England rums. Modern approximations include Inner Circle, Gosling's Black Seal and Pusser's Navy Rum.

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1 quart orange shrub

Ingredient: orange shrub

What it is:  Other
In colonial times, a drink made from orange juice, sugar and a liquor such as rum or brandy. From the Smithsonian Magazine: Mix 1 gallon of rum with the peel of 6 oranges. Add 6 cups of sugar and dissolve by mixing well. Combine this mixture with a quart of sweet orange juice and place in a wooden cask or earthenware crock for several weeks to age and develop character. After aging, remove shrub from the cask, strain, and bottle for immediate consumption or storage. This is a wonderful base for a hearty punch.

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sugar

Ingredient: sugar

What it is:  Additive
Many 19th century recipes specifically called for white sugar, which is more refined and preferred over browner sugars. But modern white sugar is probably too refined, making raw cane sugar the best, easily available choice.

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to taste

We have been favored by an English gentleman with the following recipe for the concoction of punch as drunk by the students of the University of Oxford:

Rub the rinds of three fresh lemons with loaf-sugar till you have extracted a portion of the juice; cut the peel finely off two lemons more, and two sweet oranges. Use the juice of six lemons, and four sweet oranges. Add six glasses of calf's-foot jelly; let all be put into a large jug, and stir well together. Pour in two quarts of water boiling hot, and set the jug upon the hob for twenty minutes. Strain the liquor through a fine sieve into a large bowl; pour in a bottle of capillaire, half a pint of sherry, a pint of Cognac brandy, a pint of old Jamaica rum, and a quart of orange shrub; stir well as you pour in the spirit. If you find it requires more sweetness, add sugar to your taste.