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Alcoholic Punch

Alcoholic punch is a generic term used to describe a range of alcohols and fruit juices that are mixed together and served in a large bowl called a punch bowl.

History of Alcoholic Punches

According to literature, the word "punch" is derived from the hindi word "panch. This was because in India, a very popular version of punch was made with five ingredients of alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. The original Persian word that "punch" was derived from was "paantsch", which also means five. Alcoholic Punch was introduced by India to England and gradually spread all over the world.Sailors of the East Indian Company who traveled from India to England brought the drink back with them and introduced it into European society. Initially, the drink was created with a wine or brandy base but around the year 1655, Jamaican rum was used to make unique versions of the punch. By the year 1671, punch houses were set up where customers could have a cup of their favorite tipple. Nowadays, modern beverage companies make different kinds of fruit punches that can be used as a base for the alcoholic drink.

Alcoholic Punch Recipes: Ingredients Used and Preparation Overview

The actual ingredients of a punch will vary according to personal taste. Generally, fruit juices form the base of the punch and different alcohol combinations in the form of rum, scotch, wine, liqueurs are used to accentuate the taste of the fruit juices. Commercially prepared mixes are also available that can be used to create the drink quickly

Serving and Drinking Alcoholic Punches

Punches are usually served in special deep large bowls called punch bowls. Slices of fruit are added to the punch bowl just before serving along with ice. Ice cubes may also be stashed around the punch bowl to keep the mix cool. Generally punch glasses are placed on the side, and the alcoholic punch is ladled by each person into his or her punch glass.

Popular Alcoholic Punch Recipes

In the US, there are several popular variations that are made for parties and special occasions. A few of the more well-known recipes include

· Southern Bourbon punch that is made from sweet black tea, citrus drink mixers, and bourbon

· Planters punch is made from rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, soda, cayenne pepper, Curacao, Angostura bitters, and orange juice

British variations of the alcoholic punch recipe include the following:

· Punch cups are traditionally served before a hunt in England but they are now also served at garden parties, games and picnics. Cups are the same drink but with a lower alcohol content. Wine, ale, cider and ginger ale may also be used. One popular version is Pimms Cup that uses British lemonade, and Pimms No 1, lemon, apple slices, cucumber wedges and borage flowers

Other punch versions from over the world are mentioned as follows:

· Korea has a version called the Sujeonggwa made from dried cinnamon, ginger, and persimmons

· Mexico has a version called the Agua loca made from sugarcane, mexcal, and tequila

· Germany has many recipes for the alcoholic punch, a unique version of which is the Feuerzangenbowle that is made from red wine and flaming run poured over a sugar cube