Mrs. Robert E. Lee's Roman Punch
For an intermezzo, Greg Van Boven serves this heritage recipe from The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book, by Anne Carter Zimmer, Mrs. Lee's great-granddaughter. Traditionally, the punch is served frozen when used as a palate cleanser. This charming journal of mid-19th-century family life is available at http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-250.html (Recipe: Copyright ©1997 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher.)
Black rum is also known as dark rum; look for a deep amber color.
•Juice of 5 or 6 lemons
• 3 cups sugar
• 1 cup (8 ounces) currant jelly
• 2 quarts minus 1/2 cup water
• 1 cup brandy
• 2/3 cup black rum
• About 5-6 tablespoons or bags of green (or black) tea
Heat about half the water with sugar and jelly, stirring to dissolve. Make tea with the rest. Combine the two mixtures. Cool, add lemon juice, brandy, and rum. Ripen overnight at room temperature, then freeze if you like. Makes about a gallon.