The origin of this word is attributed by Dr. Doran, in his ‘ History of Court Fools/ to a club of Athenian wits; but how he could possibly connect the word Punch with these worthies, or derive it from either their sayings or doings, we are totally at a loss to understand. Its more probable derivation is from the Persian Punj, or from the Sanscrit Pancha, which denotes the usual number of ingredients of which it is composed, viz. five. The recipes, however, for making this beverage are very numerous; and, from various flavouring matters which may be added to it, Punch has received a host of names derived alike from men or materials.
Recipe for Punch.
Extract the oil from the rind of a large lemon by rubbing it with lumps of sugar; add the juice of two lemons and of two Seville oranges, together with the finely pared rind; put this into a jug, with one pint of old rum, one pint of brandy, and half a pound of powdered lump sugar; stir well together, then add one pint of infusion of green tea and one quart of boiling water. Mix well, and let it be served quite hot. This is an excellent recipe for ordinary Punch, and the addition of green tea cannot be too strongly recommended. In order to give Punch a delicious softness, one pint of calves’-foot jelly should be added to the above recipe. The addition of two glasses of sherry will also be found an improvement.
Noyeau Punch is made simply by adding two glasses of noyeau to the above recipe.
Guava Punch a tablespoonful of Guava jelly administers a fine flavour to a bowl of Punch. Preserved tamarinds, put into Punch, impart a flavour closely resembling arrack; and a piece or two of preserved ginger, with a little of the syrup, added to Punch, acts as a stimulant, and prevents any ill effects which might otherwise arise from the acids it contains.
Gin Punch Recipe.
As a mild summer drink, and one readily made, we recommend Gin Punch, according to the following recipe:—
Stir the rind of a lemon, and the juice of half a one, in half a pint of gin; add a glass of Maraschino, half a pint of water, and two tablespoonfuls of pounded white sugar, and, immediately before serving, pour in two bottles of iced soda-water.
Whisky Punch Recipe.
To one pint of whisky and two glasses of brandy add the juice and peel of one lemon and a wine-glassful of boiling ale; well stir into it half a pound of powdered sugar, and add a quart of boiling water. This is said to be the most fascinating tipple ever invented, and, to quote the words of Basil Hall, “It brightens a man’s hopes, crumbles down his difficulties, softens the hostility of his enemies, and, in fact, induces him for the time being to think generously of all mankind, at the tiptop of which it naturally and good-naturedly places his own dear self.”
The following compound is said to have been held in high esteem by the Prince Regent, from whom it derives its name.
To a pint of strongly made green tea add the rind and juice of two lemons, one Seville orange, and one sweet orange, with half a pound of loaf sugar and a small stick of cinnamon. After standing for half an hour, strain the mixture, add a bottle of champagne, half a bottle of sherry, three wine-glasses of brandy; rum, Curacoa, and noyeau, of each a wine-glass, and a pint of pine-apple syrup. Ice the compound well, and, immediately before drinking, add a bottle of soda-water.
If well made, in our opinion, there is no beverage, in point of generosity and delicacy of flavour that can compare with Milk Punch, for the compounding of which, after numerous trials, we offer the following recipe as the simplest and best.
Our favourite Milk Punch below is known in that famous club of naturalists, which we will choose to call ‘The Waltonians’, as ‘Fundamental Gneiss’; a delicate compliment to Sir Roderick Murchison, whose traverses about Europe in search of this ancient deposit probably suggested to them the use of the words to designate a composition of nice and agreeable flavour to the lower stratum of the stomach.
Recipe for Milk Punch.
To the rinds of twelve lemons and two Seville oranges add 2^ pounds of loaf sugar, a bottle of pale brandy, and a bottle and a half of old rum, with a sufficient quantity of grated nutmeg. Let this mixture stand for a week; then add the juice of the fruit, with five pints of water; lastly, add one quart of boiling milk, and, after letting it stand for an hour, filter the whole through jelly bags till it is clear. Bottle for use. The longer it is kept, the better it will be.
Cambridge Milk Punch.
In Cambridge (a town of no mean authority in such matters) Milk Punch is made after the following fashion.
Recipe for Milk Punch. Boil together a quart of milk, four ounces of loaf sugar, a small stick of cinnamon, and the peel of one lemon; then beat together the yolks of three eggs and the white of one; add the boiling compound very gradually, and keep continually stirring the mixture while you pour into it a wine-glassful of rum and one of noyeau. Serve hot.
Cold Milk Punch (German Recipe).
Take the finely shredded rind of one, and the juice of three, lemons, one bottle of rum, one pint of arrack, half a pound of loaf sugar, and a quart of cold water. When the sugar is melted, pour one quart of boiling milk on the above, cover it closely for four hours, and run it through a bag, as it should be quite bright.
VARIATIONS OF PUNCH.
Many other recipes for Punch might be added, as, for instance, Egg Punch, Almond Punch, Punch a la Romaine, Spiced Punch, Red Punch, Leander Punch, &c; but the few we have prescribed will be found reliable, so we refrain from swelling the list.
The simple admixture of spirits and water is known either by the name of Toddy, which is a corruption of an Indian word, Taddi (the sap of the palm-tree), or by the more truly English appellation of Grog, which thus derives its cognomen.
Before the time of Admiral Vernon, rum was given to the seamen in its raw state; but he ordered it to be diluted, previous to delivery, with a certain quantity of water. This watering of their favourite liquor so incensed the tars that they nicknamed the Admiral “Old Grog,” in allusion to a grogram coat which he was in the habit of wearing. Hence the term Grog.