This smooth-drinking white wine- and cognac-based punch is inspired by one described in a poem by the 17th-century English army captain and courtier Alexander Radcliffe. As with many punches, this one tastes the best when chilled by a single large block of ice instead of fast-melting cubes, which water down the punch too quickly.
- 4 lemons
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups sweet white wine, preferably sauternes
- 1 (750-ml) bottle of brandy, preferably VSOP cognac
- 6 cups chilled water
- Freshly grated nutmeg