Take two large fresh lemons with rough skins, quite ripe, and some
Large lumps of double-refined sugar
Rub the sugar over the lemons till it has absorbed all the yellow part of the skins
Then put into the bowl these lumps, and as much more as the juice of the lemons may be supposed to require; for no certain weight can be mentioned, as the acidity of a lemon cannot be known till tried, and therefore this must be determined by taste
Then squeeze the lemon juice upon the sugar; and, with a bruiser
Press the sugar and the juice particularly well together, for a great deal of the richness and fine flavor of the punch depends on this rubbing and mixing process being thoroughly performed
Then mix this up very well with boiling water (soft water is best) till the whole is rather cool
When this mixture (which is now called the sherbet) is to your taste
Take brandy and rum in equal quantities, and put them to it, mixing the whole well together again
The quantity of liquor must be according to your taste.
Two good lemons are generally enough to make four quarts of punch, including a quart of liquor, with half a pound of sugar; but this depends much on taste, and on the strength of the spirit.
As the pulp is disagreeable to some persons, the sherbet may be strained before the liquor is put in. Some strain the lemon before they put it to the sugar, which is improper, as, when the pulp and sugar are well mixed together, it adds much to the richness of the punch.
When only rum is used, about half a pint of porter will soften the punch; and even when both rum and brandy are used, the porter gives a richness, and to some a very pleasant flavor.
How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion by Jerry Thomas (Formerly principal Bar-tender at the Metropolitan Hotel, New York, and the Planter’s House, St. Louis), 1862