One thing you won't find in this recipe is the lady's stocking, soldier's sock, and a bit of soil returned from the unit's latest combat deployment. So much for authenticity.
Yes friends, the introduction means only one thing: it's that time of year to assemble and ferment your Chatham Artillery Punch, a great American holiday beverage best described as a nuclear rumtopf. You can find the traditional recipe for fifty servings here at one of my 2008 posts. Fermenting a batch for eight weeks will yield you a wonderfully smooth and deceptively powerful treat. A small serving, including some fruit, will go a long way whether you serve it in cups or pour it over ice cream. Either way it's delicious, but my native Savannahian friends would shun me for suggesting it with ice cream.
I hope you enjoy making this historic refreshment and sampling it in moderation over the coming weeks as nature performs its magic.
N.B. The Chatham Artillery survives today as the 1st Battalion of the 118th Field Artillery Regiment of the Georgia National Guard. Their latest service was in Iraq. Their annual banquet is moving into its third century.