Occasionally, the organizers of Dining with History like to feature food of past days. Kara Leistyna prepared this punch for one evening; she adapted it from “Saveur.”
1 cup sugar
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 green tea bags
1 cup brandy
1/4 cup dark rum
2 bottles Brut Champagne or Prosecco
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a bowl with the pineapple. Allow the fruit to macerate in the refrigerator for at least eight hours to make a pineapple syrup. Strain and reserve; save sweetened solids for another use.
With a vegetable peeler, peel the lemons and oranges, taking off as little white pith as possible. Transfer the peels to a heavy bowl; reserve the fruit in another bowl. Add the remaining sugar to the peels; use a muddler or a wooden spoon to vigorously crush the sugar and peels together until the sugar turns faintly yellow and slushy.
In a medium bowl, steep the tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain the tea over the lemon and sugar mixture; stir until the sugar dissolves. Juice the reserved fruit into the tea mixture. Strain the liquids through a sieve into another bowl; discard the solids. Stir in the pineapple syrup, brandy, and rum. Chill.
To serve, combine the mixture and the champagne in a punch bowl along with a large block of ice (created by filling a Bundt pan with water leaving 1 inch space and freezing; to remove the frozen ring, run it quickly under warm water and pop it into your punch bowl.)
Kara Leistyna calls this “delicious and refreshing.”