Savannah’s history is a spirited one, and there is no drink more storied than Chatham Artillery Punch, said to be the cocktail that saved the city. The most popular story goes like this: In 1850s Georgia, Sergeant A.B. Luce and the Chatham Artillery are said to have served the Republican Blues, a militia from Savannah, a concoction they mixed up in horse buckets using rum, whisky, brandy, and champagne to welcome the men home. Sure enough, those men were soon laid out from the “deliriously delicious” punch – and it’s been famous for its tastiness and total ability to wipe out even the most dedicated drinking man (and enemy of the South) ever since.
According to Paste Magazine: “This historic concoction required a horse bucket full of booze to be stirred into a frenzy, destined to conquer whole rooms of blissfully unaware imbibers. It was no respecter of persons. No gun was needed. No cannon fired against coastal invasion. It was (is) Savannah’s most powerful weapon.”
While the true origin of the drink and its original recipe has been lost to what may be tall tales and perhaps, drunken retellings, Chatham Artillery Punch remains one of the most powerful concoctions in Southern history. Many have taken their shot at recreating the boozy beverage with rum, brandy, bourbon, sparkling wine, and who knows what else!
Want to see if you can conquer this pungent punch? Get everything you need to make Savannah’s quintessential cocktail at River Street Liquor store, and shake things up with this recipe from Chilled Magazine.
Chatham Artillery Punch
- 1/2 oz. Old Forrester Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Bacardi Superior
- 1/2 oz. Brandy
- 1/2 oz. Simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
- 3 oz. Dry sparkling wine of your choice
- Mint spring and lemon wheel for garnish
- In a shaker with ice, mix your bourbon, rum, brandy, simple syrup and lemon juice together.
- Shake and double strain the mixture into a Collins glass over crushed ice.
- Top off with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel and a sprig of mint.
Soak up Savannah’s historic district with Chatham Artillery Punch in hand
Once your Chatham Artillery Punch is ready for fire, take it to the streets – of downtown Savannah! Much like the bustling streets of downtown New Orleans, Savannah locals and tourists enjoy open container laws – so you can stroll the historic district with a cocktail, beer, or glass of bubbly as your faithful companion.
Looking for the best place to grab a cocktail before touring the city? Located right in the historic district at 425 E. River St., River Street Liquor is your one-stop party shop. Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Savannah, this shop holds a piece of history all its own: on top of being one of the best liquor stores in the Hostess City of the South, it’s also the world’s tiniest liquor store!
Don’t forget to add River St. Liquor to your itinerary. This famous Savannah attraction sits at the east end of tourist-friendly River Street and is open seven days a week for all your beer, wine, and cocktail needs. Always stocked with loads of well-known and lesser-known artisanal varieties of beer, champagne, wine, and spirits, they also carry a curated selection of products local to Savannah that make perfect souvenirs or gifts. Not to mention, River St. Liquor is the only Savannah historic district liquor store open on Sunday Funday.
Learn more about the history, offerings and location of River St. Liquor to get your historic downtown Savannah party started right!