I was teetering between new school and old school recipes and I decided to let my elders guide me for this one. After flipping through Jerry Thomas and having either tried them or being discouraged by a gill of "warm calf's foot jelly" in some of them (true, there are a few tea-containing ones still left to try), I went to one of his disciples -- Kappeler. George J. Kappeler in his 1895 Modern American Drinks book had a bottled punch that seemed rather intriguing. The recipe for the Gin Tea Punch was the following:
Grate off the yellow part of the rinds of six lemons into a punch-bowl, add one pound cut-loaf sugar, the juice of the six lemons, half a pint of boiling water; mix well, add two quarts Old Tom gin. Infuse one teaspoonful coriander seeds in a pint of boiling green tea for twenty minutes, then add while hot to the mixture in the bowl, stir well and when cold strain, bottle, cork and seal. Keep in a cool place.Not wanting to make the full complement of this recipe, I scaled it down eight fold such that the ingredient list was:
• 3/4 Lemon (~1 1/4 oz Juice, 3/4 Rind)I upped the zest and juice to a full lemon since we prefer our drinks a little on the drier and crisper side of things. With the use of a microplane to zest the lemons, a microwave to reheat the tea and coriander seed part way through, and a tea towel to strain the punch at the end, the project did not take all that long. It would have had I not scrapped the plan to coffee filter strain the punch; the filters were clogging at such a fast rate that I figured that I could deal with a little cloudy sediment in the glass. I stored the punch in a bottle for 4 days to allow for a little extra flavor blending before we tasted it last night.
• 2 oz Sugar (Turbinado)
• 1 oz Boiling Water
• 8 oz Old Tom Gin (Hayman's)
• 1/8 tsp Coriander Seed
• 2 oz Green Tea (Japanese green tea + boiling water)