Yesterday, Wendy Miller told us what she likes to drink. Today she's telling us what she likes to serve. Wendy and her husband always have a bowl of punch at the ready when hosting a holiday gathering. "It gives people the ability to help themselves," she points out, which makes it easy on the host. Because it makes a lot at once, it is a great option for a group. Plus, she adds, "Everybody loves punch!"
Here, she supplies her favorite, from David Wondrich, author of the book Punch, which she recommends seeking out if you're interested in learning more about punch.
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
2 quarts water
1 quart lemon juice
2 quarts dark rum
1 quart cognac
4 ounces peach brandy
In a large bowl, first dissolve the sugar in enough of the water to do the trick, then incorporate the lemon juice. Next, add the spirits and the rest of the water -- or as much of it as you wish to contribute. Slip in as large a block of ice as you can procure. (Use your imagination -- if worse comes to worst, a mixing bowl full of water that's been frozen overnight will do the trick; run a little hot water on the outside of the bowl to unmold.) Let stand in a cool place for an hour or so before serving.