The word punch is probably derived from the Hindi word panch, meaning five, because of its five basic ingredients: citrus juice, water, spices, sugar, and arrack, which is fermented palm sap, rice, or molasses. The ingredients today are almost limitless. Punches were staples at pubs, taverns, and inns during the 18th and 19th centuries. British actor David Garrick and lexicographer Samuel Johnson tried to outdo each other by concocting newer and stronger punches, while George Washington was partial to the legendary Fish House Punch, introduced in 1732 at the Schuylkill Fishing Club in Philadelphia. Punches eventually became familiar sights at any social gathering. Just as colleges all had their own mascots, Yale Punch, Harvard Punch, and Columbia Punch were formulated in the 1920s. Punches were in such demand in the 1930s that The Savoy Cocktail Book lists 15, and their popularity only increased, as can be witnessed by the 20 recipes given in the 1971 Playboy’s Host and Bar Book.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food
Copyright Quirk Books