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How To Make a Summer and a Winter Party Punch

Updated on March 4, 2023
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Andrew has been making home made foods for years and can be found in the kitchen experimenting with all kinds of different recipes.

Hibuscus, rose hip and tropical fruit with mint garnish.
Hibuscus, rose hip and tropical fruit with mint garnish. | Source

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.

Citrus fruits - add to punch for extra zip.
Citrus fruits - add to punch for extra zip. | Source

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.


6 Oranges

2 lemons

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.

Fruit punch
Fruit punch | Source

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)

Madeira Wine

White Sherry

6 oranges sliced

50 ml honey

250ml hot water

Lemon, sliced.

Stir liquids together. Add fruit. Dissolve honey in hot water, add. Cool for several hours and serve iced.

A hand engraving of Dickens by Andre Gill.
A hand engraving of Dickens by Andre Gill. | Source

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 can make your delicious punch in a punch bowl such as this.

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!!

Smoking Bishop

Makes a large bowl enough for 6 - 8 people.


4 bitter oranges/Seville oranges + 1 grapefruit

24 cloves

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.

Add sugar.

Add wine.

Leave for 24 hours in a warm place.

Squeeze out fruit, strain liquid.

Put all into large saucepan.

Add port.

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

Lemon sliced

5 heaped tablespoons brown sugar

Grated Nutmeg

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

Mr Fezziwig's party, at which, no doubt, there were several large punch bowls on the go.
Mr Fezziwig's party, at which, no doubt, there were several large punch bowls on the go. | Source

© 2012 Andrew Spacey


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