The earliest record of making of Chatham Artillery Punch is from the 1885 article in the Augusta Chronicle.
It was reported that sometime in the 1850s, Savannah’s Chatham Artillery Regiment hosted a “welcome home” banquet for another Savannah regiment, the Republican Blues.
Republican Blues are organized in 1808 and stationed at Fort Jackson.
The modus operandi of many of these old Savannah units was as much social and fraternal as military, so the Blues were greeted with much fanfare by the Chatham Artillery unit.
The Chatham Artillery is the oldest military organization of record in Georgia. It was a local militia that was formed in 1786.
A local patriot by the name of A.H. Luce suggested brewing a new punch in honor of the Blues and the Chatham Artillery Punch was born. Its whiskey, brandy, rum, and Champagne all bundled up together.
The original recipe was brewed in ice-filled horse buckets into which were placed sugar, lemon and a quart each of brandy, whiskey and rum.
Later the bucket was filled with champagne. Modifications of new recipes call for the addition of green tea and various other ingredients.
The recipe was kept jealously secret for ears and was unobtainable by an outsider. It is said that this is punch that knocked out Admiral Schley when he visited Savannah in 1899 after the Spanish War.
Punches are socializers by intent, so most recipes generate gallons of the stuff—ingredients are measured by the bottle, not by the ounce.
Mix from thirty-six to forty-eight hours before serving. Add one case of champagne when ready to serve. This punch recipe makes 5 gallons.
Chatham Artillery Punch