Named for the infamous Hellfire Club of 18th-century England, this complex punch packs some heat. The recipe is a speculative recreation devised by renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich, using ingredients that would have been available at the time (based partially on Benjamin Franklin’s description of the drink as a “divine milk punch”)—that said, there is a certain amount of artistic license taken here, and there’s no way to know for sure what the Hellfire Punch referenced in the club’s primary sources really would have entailed.
|3 750-ml bottles Ferrand 1840 Cognac|
|1 750-ml bottle Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum|
|1 750-ml bottle Luxardo Sangue Moriacco Cherry Brandy|
|Zest of 16 lemons|
|2 lbs Demerara sugar|
|4 L warm water|
|500 ml fresh-squeezed lemon juice|
|2 nutmegs, grated|
|1 tbsp powdered cayenne pepper|
|2 L milk, heated to a simmer|
Preparation: How to make a Hell-Fire Punch
- Infuse cognac, rum, cherry brandy, and lemon zest for 24 hours.
- Dissolve Demerara sugar in warm water, then let cool and add to spirits.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- The milk will curdle; let sit for 1 hour, then strain through a fine cloth.
- Strain again, pouring liquid over retained curds.
- Bottle and refrigerate until residues have settled, then siphon, rebottle, and store at cellar temperatures for future use.