Cool, Refreshing Punch!
Gosh it is hot! I am sitting writing this in the sweltering heat and my mind is drifting. What I am looking forward to is enjoying a nice cool drink, and what could be more perfect than a big bowl of boozy punch with a group of friends! So in this week’s blog we shall be looking at the long history of punch including my favorite recipe. All I need to do now is make some friends!
Punch is considered one of the earliest cocktails and Sipsmiths suggests “the name originates from the Sanskrit word “panch,” meaning “five.” That hints at the traditional components of punch: a classic recipe includes strong, weak, sweet, sour, and spice elements (or, in modern parlance: alcohol, water, sugar, citrus, and spice)”. With this in mind the amount of ingredients can fluctuate and be equally delicious.
It was thought to have originated from India, during the time the British East India Company were there in the 17th century. Sailors were rationed to 10 pints of beer a day, but due to the hot weather it didn’t fare too well and often spoiled. Therefore they had to turn their hand to local ingredients and drinks, such as fresh fruit juice such as lemons, limes and oranges. With the addition of alcohol, such as rum from the West Indies or arrack, a spirit from the east you get to see the formulation of the flavours.
Punch eventually found its way back to Britain where its popularity rose particularly with the intellectual classes, there were even punch bars! During the Victorian times the drink began to fall out of favour, this is due to changing work attitudes where people no longer had time to sit around enjoying large bowls of boozy juice. There were still admirers, according to Diffords Guide “Charles Dickens published a piece titled A Bowl of Punch, bemoaning the fact that punch bowls which once lined the shelves in bars ready to be called upon were now stacked up and uncalled for”.
The drink has now had a resurgence in popularity with many bars now serving bowls of punch in different guises. New York’s The Dead Rabbit, World’s Best Bar 2016 servs punch as a welcome drink and Punch Room in London only sells punch!
If you feel inspired to create your own punch why not try out one of our favourite recipes below! The recipe contains the five different elements that formed the original recipe, it has the ingredients for one serving but it can always be made in multiples if you are planning a party!
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and strain into highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with chilli slices. If you are making in bulk just add all the ingredients to a punch bowl with ice.