Whats the specialty of your punch? A cool creamy golden eggnog? A hot heart-tingling Scandinavian glogg? A merry, bubbling champagne punch? There are as many kinds of punch as there are ornaments on the tree or hosts in the kitchen. There are punches as traditional as the Old English wassail and punches so new they haven't been born yet. Give a man a bowl and some bottles , and a houseful of guests and who knows what ambrosial concoction will result?
But that brings up a very important question. What is a punch? Is it just a slapdash ad lib mixture of anything you have in the house or are there rules in making a punch? Well the word punch comes from the Persian "punj" or from the Hindu "panch" Both words mean "five" and punches as a rule were made of five parts: water, wine, sugar, lemon and spirits. Today, there is practically no limits to the variety of flavor effects you can produce with fruits, fruit juices, wine, spirits, cordials and spices. There are some basic rules you must follow to be successful in this endeavour. They are simple, but none-the less necessary:
#1 use the best quality liquors you can afford.
#2 do not use too many different kinds of liquors (ie bode-ode)
#3a punch should not be too strong, neither should it be too weak
#4go easy on the cut up fruits
#5 use an ice block instead of ice cubes, the larger the ice block the less dilute the punch will be
#6 blend the ingredients of cold punches well in advance ( except for sparkling beverages) Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour in the bowl.
#7 Add the sparkling ingredients just before you serve. a sparkling punch is supposed to "SPARKLE"
#8 A good guide for how much to make is: a gallon of punch serves 40 cups 3/4 full