September 20 is Punch Day. Celebrate this unofficial holiday of unknown origins by drinking a tall glass of this delicious party beverage.
Typically made by mixing a variety of fruit juices, a punch can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Food historians believe that the beverage originated in India - its name comes from the Hindi word paanch meaning five. It is thought that the original punch in India included five ingredients.
In the 17th century, the drink made its way to England via those who worked for the British East India Company and then spread all over Europe, soon becoming a popular drink served at parties and family gatherings. While no longer a popular drink, punch is still served occasionally at college parties and large events.
Punch is served in a large bowl called a punch bowl. In 17th and 18th century Europe, punch bowls were a common household item. Many bowls came with ornate stands and were passed down as heirlooms.
How to Celebrate?
Make your favorite punch and share it with family and friends.
Experiment with flavors of your punch - try new combinations of alcoholic and non-alcoholic additions to the beverage.
Did You Know...
...that a similar sounding drink, punsch, is a traditional liqueur in Sweden? Unlike punch, which is a mixture of multiple fruit juices and alcoholic beverages, punsch is made from arak - the fermented sap of coco palm or rice. Arak was brought to Sweden by the Swedish East India Company through Indonesia. Like punch, the name punsch also comes from the Hindi word paanch meaning five.