September 20th is National Punch Day. Punch is sort of “old school” meaning it’s not really soda, not really juice, and not completely a cocktail. It’s punch and we love it so much — especially on National Punch Day, every September 20. Today, break out your favorite punch bowl and celebrate with different-colored concoctions. But first, a brief punch history.
So join us in celebrating #PunchDay! 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.
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).
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 alcoholic 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.