Cesar Picton Punch
Cesar Picton was just 6 years old when he was brought to England by Captain Parr, an British Army officer who had been serving in Senegal. He was given to Sir John Philips along with a parakeet. Normally a black servant of the time would have been the personal servant of the male head of the household but Cesar became the favourite of Lady Philips, mixing with the family on equal terms. Sir John died in 1764, his son becoming Lord Milford such that when Lady Milford died she left Cesar £100 in her will. With the money he was given, Cesar was able to rent a coach house and stables next to the Thames in Kingston and became a successful merchant - you can see the blue plaque on this building today: Picton House. In February 1816 he bought a house in Thames Ditton,, where he lived there for the next twenty years until his death. A memorable drink for a truly remarkable man.
1 part Thames Ditton Gin
1 tablespoon sugar
½ part lemon juice
½ part Aperol
½ part grapefruit juice
Slices of orange
Juice the lemon and reserve the peel.
In a bowl, muddle the lemon peel with the sugar and allow to rest for 30 mins or even overnight.
30 mins before serving add the Gin, Aperol and grapefruit juice and steep for 30 mins.
Strain in to an ice filled jug and top up with Prosecco and garnish with orange slices.
If ever there was a special Christmas Gin then this is it - but why not enjoy all year round?