Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Charles Dickens’ punch recipe for the holidays

CHARLES DICKENS

Public Domain

Daniel Esparza - published on 12/29/17

This is not the “spirit” of Christmas past.

Considered by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, the works of Charles Dickens have never gone out of print. Praised by most of his contemporaries (although William James would call him “the greatest of superficial novelists,” God only knows if in fact praising or mocking him), his social caricatures would often contrast with the intricate sentimental portraits of his main characters, as in both A Christmas Carol and The Old Curiosity Shop.

But Dickens did not only write novels, short stories or even journalistic articles. His work also included, as evidenced in a letter he sent his friend Amellia Filloneau, his own (powerful) recipe for holiday punch. OpenCulture found the original text:

Peel into a very strong common basin (which may be broken, in case of accident, without damage to the owner’s peace or pocket) the rinds of three lemons, cut very thin, and with as little as possible of the white coating between the peel and the fruit, attached. Add a double-handfull of lump sugar (good measure), a pint of good old rum, and a large wine-glass full of brandy — if it not be a large claret-glass, say two. Set this on fire, by filling a warm silver spoon with the spirit, lighting the contents at a wax taper, and pouring them gently in. Let it burn for three or four minutes at least, stirring it from time to Time. Then extinguish it by covering the basin with a tray, which will immediately put out the flame. Then squeeze in the juice of the three lemons, and add a quart of boiling water. Stir the whole well, cover it up for five minutes, and stir again.

If you would rather leave the Dickensian prose aside and prepare your punch for New Year’s Eve following the standard recipe format, you can click on this link, courtesy of PunchDrink.com.

Tags:
Humanities
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
3
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
6
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
7
ORTHODOX COMMUNION
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.