I love serving punch at holiday parties! It's the best way to create a unique and memorable drink ahead of time, so you can enjoy the party with your guests. There's nothing better than hot gin punch during the cold winter months.

The history of punch is closely tied to European trade and colonialism in Southeast Asia during the early 1600's, where spices, sugar and tea were important commodities. This simple recipe combines those commodities with the spirit of Holland and England. I like the idea of a 17th century mariner drinking this punch in a cold winter harbor while waiting for the next trading vessel to arrive from a long voyage.

I originally used a lighter new-style gin for this recipe, but it works well with Genever, which would be more historically accurate anyway. Try it with whatever gin you like, you could make a small one cup test batch using the same ratios. You could also double or triple the batch for a bigger party. This is a simple recipe that begs for experimentation and personalization.

I like to serve this punch in a giant ceramic teapot, but it would be great to bring it outdoors in a thermos too. Whatever vessel you use, just make sure to preheat it by pouring in hot water and discarding before adding your finished hot punch.

South China Punch

750ml Gin or Genever

250ml Ginger Liqueur

1200ml Hot Green Tea (Not Jasmine)

1 Lemon Peel

Sugarcane Syrup to taste

In a large pot, boil the thinly zested peel of one lemon. Turn off heat and add 5 green tea bags or equivalent loose-leaf tea, steep until ready. Remove peel and tea bags, and mix in ginger liqueur and gin. Sweeten with sugarcane syrup to taste, pour into your preheated vessel and serve.