Punch refers to a variety of drinks which include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages made from a base of fruit juice.


What is Punch?

Punch refers to a variety of drinks which include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages made from a base of fruit juice. This drink is commonly served at parties from large, wide-mouthed bowls known as punch bowls. The word punch comes from Sanskrit and means ‘five’ as this beverage usually had five ingredients: water, alcohol, sugar, lemon, and spices.

  • Jamaican rum is one of the more popular alcohols used to craft this beverage.
  • The founding fathers of the United States drank 76 bowls of this beverage after signing the Declaration of Independence.

The top 9 punches for a party, according to Liquor.com are:

  1. Negroni Sbagliato
  2. Two-Hit Fig 
  3. Rainbow Planter’s
  4. USS Richmond
  5. Champagne Holiday Punch
  6. Summerthyme Screwdriver
  7. Mexican Punch
  8. Bourbon Rosemary
  9. Green Beast


Punches were made with local ingredients in Indonesia and India by the 1600s. Soon after, British sailors and traders would encounter this beverage on their travels. A letter from a worker in the British East India Company in 1632 is the first written account of this drink. Although it was widely consumed, the first recipe for this beverage would not appear until 1638. Sailors would take this beverage back with them to England where it became widely popular at the end of the 17th century.

After England, this drink conquered the American colonies in the 18th century and the founding fathers were noted to have enjoyed this drink. This beverage, alongside coffee, became a drink for the middle class to enjoy in coffee houses. Punch bowls would also come into play at large gatherings for patrons to enjoy this alcoholic beverage. Later on, this drink would go on to inspire the cocktail. This beverage would maintain its coffee house reputation until the 1950s and continue to be enjoyed at parties everywhere. 


While this sweet beverage can brighten any get-together, it doesn’t offer much nutritional value. One 6.8 fl oz serving can have:

Due to its high levels of sugar, this drink should be consumed in moderation. Excess consumption of sugary drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses.

Commercial production

The commercial production begins with its ingredients. If this beverage is made from fresh fruit juices, those fruits need to be cultivated, ripen, and juiced. Once the juice is available, it can be combined with other juices and ingredients. These ingredients include water, sugar, citric acid, preservatives, and natural or artificial colorings. All of the ingredients are mixed together, pasteurized, packaged or bottled, and stored until ready to be sold.


This drink is a classic party drink for both children and adults. Storing this beverage in the fridge before serving will bring it to a nice temperature for drinking and keep it fresh. If you want to keep this drink fresh after the party, you should store it in an airtight container and drink it within a week. As for store-bought punches, you should pay attention to the ‘best by’ date on the packaging. Once opened, it’s also recommendable to store this drink in the fridge and consume within a week.

Punch recipes

This sweet drink can make any gathering a festive party. Here are some popular recipes

FDA Regulation

The Food & Drug Administration has several regulations concerning how products made from fruit juice should be labeled. Companies that produce fruit juice are always required to label whether the juice is fresh or from concentrate. However, because this beverage does not include the name of a specific juice, this product does not require these terms. The FDA does not have a standard of identity for punch as this beverage can be naturally or artificially flavored.


“A Vintage Cocktail That Packs A Punch.” Npr.org, NPR, 30 Dec. 2010, www.npr.org/2010/12/30/132444994/a-vintage-cocktail-that-packs-a-punch?t=1595179911803.

Butler, Stephanie. “The Surprising History of Punch.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 9 Aug. 2013, www.history.com/news/the-surprising-history-of-punch.

Difford, Simon. “History of Punch.” Diffordsguide.com, Difford’s Guide, 20 Sept. 2019, www.diffordsguide.com/g/1129/punch-and-punches.

“A Food Labeling Guide.” Fda.gov, US Food & Drug Administration, 01 Jan 2013, https://www.fda.gov/media/81606/download