An 18th-century classic that packs a wallop. Dilute with black tea as per tradition. It's best prepared at least a couple of hours ahead of serving.
Punches and cups, like any other cocktails, need to be made to taste. Fruits vary in sweetness, different brands of spirit have differing qualities and you may prefer your drinks sweeter, drier or stronger than we do as the situation demands. Treat this recipe as a guide, and bear in mind that as a rough rule, classic cocktails are typically made to a ratio of three parts strong drink to two parts acid, one part sweetness. Fresh lemon and lime juice, bitters and sugar syrup are good to keep on hand for last-minute adjustments. Keeping things cold is also essential. We've made large ice-cubes using cut-down clean milk and juice cartons. They work admirably and look pretty cool to boot. Get mixing.