Don’t worry, Punch Day is not about the physical type. You don’t have to run for cover in fear of taking some punches from your buddies! Rather, this is about the type of punch we all love; the alcohol variety.
Learn about Punch Day
The word punch means five, originating from the Hindustani word panch. Punch Day sadly isn’t an excuse to drink five glasses of punch; rather, it celebrates the traditional punch base recipe of five key ingredients, which most punches still use – alcohol (usually spirits), lemon (or other fruits), sugar, water, and tea (or other spices, e.g. cinnamon).
History of Punch Day
In order to understand the history of Punch Day, we need to understand the history of the drink itself. Punch made its way to England in the 17th century. It did this via those who worked for the British East India Company. They brought the drink to the UK. After this, it then spread across Europe, soon becoming an extremely popular drink, which was served at family gatherings and parties. While it is no longer as popular, as there are many types of cocktails and alcohol beverages to choose from today, you will still often see punch served at large events, especially college parties.
Punch is served in a punch bowl, which is a large bowl. These were a common household item in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. A lot of the bowls were passed down as heirlooms, as they came with ornate stands and were beautiful statement pieces.
How to celebrate Punch Day
Of course, the best way to celebrate Punch Day is by making a big bowl of punch and getting your friends around so that you can enjoy it together. Earlier, we spoke about the main ingredients that are used in a punch. However, the key to a punch is that you can pretty much incorporate any ingredients and flavors you want. People use a whole host of different fruits and spices, so you can have fun experimenting! You will find a whole host of different punch recipes on the Internet, ensuring you find the right one for you!
Another way to celebrate this exciting date is to have a bit of a Punch competition! You could get all of your friends around and you could all create a punch. You can then taste each other’s creations and crown a winner. This is a great way to have a few laughs with your friends. Plus, the best thing is that you can then all enjoy your different creations at the end.
It is also fun to learn about the different takes on this classic drink that bartenders from all around the world have created. All you need to do is a quick search online and you will learn about a whole host of them! One example is the Ribston Apple Cocktail, which was created by a bartender in Hong Kong. It is a punch that consists of the following ingredients – Spiced Rum, Amaretto, Apple Cider, Honey and Cinnamon. The flavours work really well together, with the combination of the spices and sweetness creating a unique taste experience.
The inspiration behind this cocktail is, of course, the Ribston Apple. This apple has a unique history, which is actually really fascinating. In 1708 three apple pipes were sent to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Knaresborough in Yorkshire from Normandy. The Ribston Apple grew from one of these seeds. It was not until over one hundred years later in 1835 that the original trunk died. However, that is not the surprising part! Once the trunk died it sent up a new shoot. This lived until 1928. In total, this means that there was 220 years of consecutive apple produce, which really is quite remarkable. The Ribston Apple represents centuries of popularity. It was adored in the Victorian times especially. Nonetheless, it is still incredibly popular today too. Pretty interesting, right?
This gives you a glimpse into the mind of a bartender. Their drinks tell a story. They don’t only taste great, but they offer you a piece of history. This is where you can begin when it comes to creating your own special punch. Why not think about something important to you, such as a personal event in your life? Alternatively, you can do a little bit of digging online for some interesting facts and information, and then you can use this to inspire your own punch creation on Punch Day. You will definitely win any competition with your friends if you decide to go down this route!
Of course, one of the most famous takes on punch is Sangria. Sangria is a popular drink that originated in Spain. It is typically made with red wine, brandy and fruit. However, any type of punch featuring fruit can be classed as Sangria, as there are many variations available nowadays. If you are a fan of wine, this is definitely going to be the punch for you! Sangria is a style of red wine punch, and so you can incorporate a whole host of delicious ingredients. Nowadays, you will find recipes to create white wine and sparkling wine versions and sangria can be made in a whole host of styles, from bubbly, to rich, to mild, to spicy.
The classic version originated in Spain and became popular in America during the World Fair in 1964. However, the idea of mixing wine, fruit and alcohol has been around for numerous centuries now. As mentioned, a big bowl of wine and fruit was a regular concoction enjoyed at European parties. Guests would ladle the mixture into their glass or cup.
If you want an island vibe for your punch, consider a mix of tequila, agave, fruits, rosemary and nutmeg. This light and refreshing drink is ideal for a warm day at the beach. Utilise fresh and seasonal fruits to ensure supreme taste and quality, whilst the rosemary balances the fruitiness out by adding a subtle herb flavour. The other two ingredients, nutmeg and agave, add layers to the Sangria. Agave is a succulent plant that is native to Mexico. It is a natural sweetener, which enhances the tequila, as it is the key ingredient in this spirit. Nutmeg is a spice with a delicate and slightly sweet taste. It is used in many drinks in the Caribbean, such as Barbados Rum Punch, Painkiller and Bushwacker, so not only does it add another flavour to the drink but also it really brings the beach vibe to life.