is a general term for any of a wide assortment of mixed drinks
, either soft
, generally containing fruit
or fruit juice
. Punch is typically served at parties
in large, wide bowls known as punch bowls
The word punch
is a loanword
. The original drink was named panj
, which is Persian for five
, and the drink was made from five different ingredients: arrack
, water, and tea
. This name was popularized by the sailors
of the British East India Company
and brought back to England
, and from there it was introduced into other European
Alternatively, it may have derived from the word "puncheon", a cask that held 72 gallons, from which a punch bowl could be made.
The term punch was first recorded in British documents dating back to 1632. At that time, most punches were of the Wassail type, or with a wine or brandy base, but by around 1655, when Jamaica came out with rum, the 'modern' punch was born, and, by 1671, there are references to punch houses.
The Cup — an English tradition
are another type of punch. An English
tradition, served before the departure of a hunting party, but today are served at a variety of social events such as garden parties
matches and at picnics
. Cups are generally lower in alcohol to punches and usually have wine
, sloe gin
, or other low alcohol liqueur as the base, and often include quantities of fruit juices
and/or soft drinks
One well known cup is the Pimm's Cup, using Pimm's №1 and British-style Lemonade at a ratio of 1:2, a squeeze of lemon juice, then add orange, lemon and apple slices and a couple of cucumber wedges.
There are several rum-based punches: Planter's Punch, Bajan Rum Punch, Caribbean Rum Punch, and others. The two most historical rum punches are the Planter's Punch and Bajan Rum Punch.
Bajan (Barbadian) Rum Punch is one of the oldest rum punches and has a simple recipe enshrined in a national rhyme: "One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak." That is, 1 part lime juice, 2 parts sweetener, 3 parts rum (preferrably Barbados rum), and 4 parts water. It is served with a dash or two of Angostura Bitters and Nutmeg.
The recipe of Planter's Punch vary, containing some combination of lemon juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, orange juice, grenadine, soda water, curaçao, Angostura bitters, and cayenne pepper.
The first known print reference to Planter's Punch is in the August 8, 1908 edition of the New York Times:
This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.
Around the world
, such as Hawaiian Punch
or certain flavors of Kool-Aid
, contain no alcohol, but may be used as drink mixers
In a large number of Caribbean, Pacific or Indian Ocean countries, punch is drunk as an apéritif before meals.
In Korean culture, sujeonggwa is a traditional punch made from dried persimmons, cinnamon, and ginger.
In Mexico, agua loca (or crazy water) is a very sweet punch usually made from fermented sugarcane, mezcal, or tequila, and mixed with aguas frescas (usually agua de Jamaica) or horchata. Due to its sweetness, the drinker may not notice the taste of the alcohol and may become intoxicated more quickly than he or she had anticipated. This drink is popular on college campuses as a cheap way to get drunk.
In Germanic culture, punch (or Punsch in German) refers to a mixture of several fruit juices and spices, often with wine or liquor added. Punch is popular in Germany, as well as with many Germans who emigrated to America. The traditional German Christmas often includes a Feuerzangenbowle ("Burnt Punch" or, literally, "Fire Tongs Bowl"). This is a punch made from red wine, and flaming rum poured over a Zuckerhut ("sugar hat"), a large conical sugar cube placed on the "Feuerzange" which supports it above the bowl.
- Robert Cross, The Classic 1000 Cocktails (1996), ISBN 0-572-02161-5