Legare Street Punch 10.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Spirits Dec 18, 2013

This late 19th-century punch, named for a historic street in Charleston, is luxurious, golden and, best of all, quick to assemble for spontaneous holiday get-togethers.

The original recipe calls for seltzer, but the punch is richer-tasting and more suited to winter without it. For the Sauternes, a La Fleur d'Or is recommended. But if you’re on a budget, a muscat is a worthy substitute. Likewise, a brandy -- we used Osocalis Rare Alambic -- may be used if you don't want to splurge on a French cognac. Champagne is great, but if you want to substitute another sparkling wine, Dan Searing recommends a natural-method wine over a Charmat-method wine such as prosecco. If the information is not on the label, ask the folks at the liquor store.

You'll need a punch bowl. Small ice cubes melt fast, so for punches that may be sitting out at a party for a while, a big block of ice is a good option. Talbert's Ice in Bethesda sells ice blocks in several sizes, but you can also make one in the freezer at home: Fill a bowl, an empty ice cream carton or a Tupperware dish with warm water. Freeze it overnight in advance of the party.

10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings

  • 2 cups Sauternes or other good dessert wine (see headnote)
  • 1 cup cognac or brandy (see headnote)
  • 750 milliliters champagne (see headnote)
  • 1 large block of ice, for serving


Combine the Sauternes and the cognac or brandy in a mixing bowl. Add the champagne, stirring slowly and gently to preserve the fizz.

Place the ice block in the punch bowl and slowly pour the punch over it. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Punch Bowl: 75 Recipes Spanning Four Centuries of Wanton Revelry," by Dan Searing (Sterling Epicure, 2011).

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