So you've got a large party to serve up some refreshments to. Although you can really scale almost any recipe, the ones found here are generally suited for serving the masses. Be warned though, some punches cover the taste of alcohol and can sneak up on your un-suspecting recipients.
A punch is actually quite a general term for several types of beverages. While the word may sometimes be used to describe non-alcoholic beverages, it is often used when referring to mixed drinks, as well as to other beverages that contain alcohol.
Punches are usually created by combining various ingredients with fruit juice and/or fruit. It is a drink that is most often made in large batches and served in a punch bowl to accommodate big crowds at a party, get together, or function.
There are two versions of where punch may have originated.
Some say that the word itself is actually Hindi. Panch, which means five in Hindi, was a drink created by combining five ingredients, usually lemon, sugar, water, spices or tea, and arrack.
British East India Company sailors brought the drink back with them when they returned to England. The drink later became popular in other countries in Europe.
An alternate version has the word punch derived from the word puncheon. A puncheon is a cask that is able to hold an astounding 72 gallons. The large vessel could easily be transformed into a punch bowl.
Regardless of where the word first originated, it is known that the term can be traced back to 1632, where it was written in British records. Punches with a brandy or wine base, or those of the popular Wassail type, where well known at that time.
Just a few short years later, in 1655, rum became popular in Jamaica, and so did modern punch. Punch houses were being referred to by the year 1671.
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