How To Make a Summer and a Winter Party Punch
Traditional Party Punch - A Delicious Drink
Making a delicious punch is easy but you need to follow certain basic rules to ensure your punch packs a real punch and has people coming back to the bowl for more!
This article contains recipes for traditional punch - mostly alcoholic - but also has more modern fruit based punch, non alcoholic. There are also recipes for Dickensian punches - from Victorian times - Charles Dickens himself being an excellent and enthusiastic punch maker!
Fruit Punch - a traditional fruity drink
Special Party Punch - a classic mix guaranteed to get the party going.
Smoking Bishop - old recipe, excellent rich flavour
Dicken's Punch - an original from the master.
Negus - brandy based, with lemons and spices.
Recipe for Traditional Fruit Punch
This punch is really delicious and is more of a health drink. Enjoy! If you can get hold of authentic ginger ale you'll introduce more 'bite' into the punch. Makes one large bowl, enough for 6-8 people.
3 cups ginger ale
Half a Pineapple
150ml cranberry juice
2 cups of grapes
500ml lemonade/carbonated water
Brown sugar to taste
Slice oranges and lemons into lemonade. Add ginger ale, cranberry juice, sugar and stir. Leave for an hour or so. Add grapes and pineapple. Serve iced with melon or orange/lemon garnish or one of your choice.
Recipe for Special Alcoholic Party Punch
An alcoholic concoction (try saying that after a few glasses) which should be handled with care. You can also use other citrus fruits to add a bit of zing to the spirit base.
Measure/jigger/shot= 1.5 ounces or 30ml
Benedictine (herbal liqueur)
Maraschino (cherry liqueur)
6 oranges sliced
50 ml honey
250ml hot water
Stir liquids together. Add fruit. Dissolve honey in hot water, add. Cool for several hours and serve iced.
Create Your Own Punch Recipe
Why not create your own punch recipe and have it as a centrepiece for your party drinks table? A traditional punch bowl sets the scene nicely and you can offer guests alcoholic or non alcoholic. The only thing you have to do is make sure you don't get the two mixed up!
For adults or children or both? Think fizzy or still. Summer or winter? With real fruit or not? Alcoholic or not?
Before offering your guests a definitive version of your recipe - going public - experiment on a small scale with a close friend or trustworthy family member to get the right balance.
You'll find a recipe for a classic Charles Dickens punch plus several variations on a theme of fruity concoctions which are suitable for the festive season, or any celebration.
As with all alcoholic drinks moderation is best!!
Makes a large bowl enough for 6 - 8 people.
4 bitter oranges/Seville oranges + 1 grapefruit
100g/3oz brown sugar
2 bottles strong red wine
1 bottle not too expensive port
cinnamon, star anise according to taste.
Bake oranges and grapefruit until slightly brown.
Stick cloves into fruit, place in large bowl.
Leave for 24 hours in a warm place.
Squeeze out fruit, strain liquid.
Put all into large saucepan.
Heat but do not boil.
Serve in glasses/goblets.
Smoking Bishop drink in A Christmas Carol
'A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!'
Ebenezer Scrooge, a changed man, shocks his office clerk Bob Cratchitt when he slaps him on the back, offers him more money, help for his growing family, and all this to be discussed a.s.a.p. with free drinks thrown in for good measure!
Smoking Bishop is a hot drink that was a favourite 'warmer' in Victorian England. There were many similar winter potions based on a fruit, spice and spirit mix - to keep the cheeks red and the insides glowing. You'll find the recipe for Smoking Bishop alongside.
The Other Dickens Punch
Charles Dickens gave the recipe for another punch in a letter he wrote in 1847 to a Miss Amelia Filloneau. 'It will make you a beautiful Punchmaker.'
This had 3 peeled lemon skins as the fruit base, with a pint of rum and a large glass of brandy, plus sugar and boiled water. All this was then covered (after being set on fire!) and left to steep. The lemon juice was then squeezed in and the whole lot stirred and sugared to taste if needs be.
In the letter he also states that the lemon rinds were better removed after a short time to stop the drink becoming bitter. It could also be cooled and served with ice.
Quite a medicine!
Recipe for Negus
Negus was created by Colonel Francis Negus, a British official of the royal court in the 18th century. He found a way of combining port, claret and Burgundy to produce a classic drink which proved irresistible back in the day.
It's most definitely a literary drink, being mentioned in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, A Christmas Carol and many more Victorian books.
This makes a large bowl enough for 6 - 8 people
300 ml Port
300 ml Claret
300 ml Burgundy
3-6 tablespoons Brandy
250 ml water
5 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
Combine all in a pan and heat but do not boil. Cool a little and serve on a cold frosty night. Sweeten to taste.
Home Made Fruit Punch
© 2012 Andrew Spacey