Cape Fear Punch

Oh Alton Brown, you never steer us wrong with you oh so delicious Good Eats, but when we saw your Cape Fear Punch, we were definitely reluctant. Rye Whiskey? Rum? Cognac?Green Tea? Are we going to be able to drive home from work after this drink??? Our only modification to this recipe was halving it, and that is for an office of 20 we had to do that for. Watch out. 



For the base:

  • 750 ml rye whiskey
  • 750 ml water
  • 1/2 cup Demerara sugar
  • 3 bags green tea
  • 375 ml rum
  • 375 ml Cognac
  • 4 whole lemons

For the punch:

  • 2 small oranges
  • thinly sliced 4 small lemons,thinly sliced
  • 2 (750 ml) bottles sparkling wine or Champagne
  • 1 liter seltzer or sparkling water Ice block Freshly grated nutmeg


For the base:

Pour the rye whiskey into a 4-quart container. Fill the now empty rye whiskey bottle with water, pour into an electric kettle, and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until the temperature drops to 190 degrees F. Place the tea bags in the kettle and steep for 3 minutes.

Add the tea, rum, and Cognac to the whiskey. Peel the zest from the lemons, being careful to remove the white pith. Wrap the lemon bodies in plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator. Add the lemon zestto the mixture, and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the punch:

Strain the base into a large punch bowl. Juice the reserved lemon bodies and add to the punch bowl. When ready to serve, add the oranges, lemons, sparkling wine, and seltzer water; stir to combine. Add the ice block and serve with freshly grated nutmeg.


The Reviews:

"This is a classic American punch from the days before the word became synonymous with ‘sugar water,’ and you can definitely tell. It’s very dry and crisp. The fruit adds a nice zing and just a touch of sweetness without being overpowering. You could almost guzzle this like tea - although, given the high liquor content, that’s probably a bad idea…." - Glen

 I am not a big fan of whiskey and it gave me the geeewhillikers!  It was an attractive looking drink anyway.” - Bethanne

"Cool refreshing summer time drink that will sneak up on you and make you wonder why there are pink flamingos all over you house the next morning." - Nicole

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