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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Punch (drink)

Punch is a general term for a beverage containing various mixed drinks, often including fruit, fruit juice, and/or alcohol.

Punch was introduced to England from India. It was so called because it was made up of five ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, tea, hot water, and arrack (an eastern spirit often made from rice) and punch or "punca" is the Sanskrit word for the numeral "5".

The Honorable Edward Russell, the First Lord of the Admiralty was wintering in late 1694 in the Spanish port of Cadiz . On Christmas Day, he hosted an extravagant party in the grounds of the local governor’s estate (Don Francesco de Velasco y Tovar), in which he used the fountain in his garden as a giant bowl for mixing his drinks. The recipe included 500 gallons of brandy, 25,000 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 1,300 pounds of sugar. Russell's bartender rowed about in a small boat, filling up the cups for the incredulous guests.

England's King George I liked to drink endless bowls of punch with his Chancellor of Exchequer Robert Walpole .

Gentlemen enjoying punch in about 1765, by William Hogarth

In the 1810s, cold green tea punches, heavily spiked with alcohol were popular in England. One example was Regent's Punch, named after Prince George, was acting as regent for his senile father King George III.

The first publication of a bartender's guide, which listed recipes for various punches, was made in America in 1862.

Hawaiian Punch was originally created in 1934 as an ice cream topping.

Punxsutawney Phil is the name of a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who according to tradition emerges from his burrow on February 2 (Groundhog Day) every year. If it is cloudy he emerges from his burrow, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, and the groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter can be expected. Punxsutawney Phil is said to owe his longevity to drinking a magical punch in summer.

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