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A History of Punch & 3 Varieties to Try


The Convivialist

Three delicious punches for this holiday season.

Eggnog – or ‘milk punch’ – is the classic Christmas punch. But why not shake it up with some alternatives?

Ever wondered why we call it punch? It comes from the Indian word “paantsch” which means five in Hindi, for the five components of the original formula (spirit, citrus, sugar, water and spice).

Punch was introduced in Europe thanks to British sailors in the 1650s. The British aristocracy quickly adopted it and spread the word to all the courts of Europe during the 18th Century.

The first recipe of a “brandy punch” was published in 1702 in The Hague in the Dictionnaire Royal François-Anglois. The punch translated well overseas and became very successful in the United States.

So back to this festive season…here are three alternative punches recipes to get the party started.

Curious Punch Twisted

Try these festive versions of punches instead of Eggnog this year

Curious Punch Twisted 

18 fl oz (500 ml) Martell VSOP

3.5 fl oz (100 ml) Lime juice

3.5 fl oz(100 ml) Bergamot juice

3.5 fl oz (100 ml) Vanilla syrup

Garnish with lemon peel


(1) Pour Martell VSOP in a punch bowl with some crushed ice

(2) Add bergamot juice and vanilla syrup

(3) Add premium mineral water

(4) Stir well and let the ingredients chill

(5) Garnish with a lemon peel

Vodka Cranberry Punch

6 cups (1 l) Cranberry juice

1 cup (250ml) Absolut vodka

2 cups (1/2 l) Lemonade

2 cups (1/2 l) Ginger ale

Cranberries to garnish


(1) Combine the cranberry juice, vodka and lemonade in a large jar or glass dispenser

(2) Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours

(3) Just before serving add the ginger ale and ice to the punch bowl

The five components of punch are traditionally: spirit, citrus, sugar, water and spice

Champagne Punch

1 .5 cups (355ml) Orange juice

1 .5 cups (355ml) Pineapple juice

1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne, chilled

1 cup (150g) Raspberries

8 sprigs rosemary


(1) Add the orange and pineapple juice to the punch bowl

(2) Serve in champagne flutes half fill with juice and fill with champagne

(3) Garnish with raspberries and rosemary