September 20 – Punch Day

Posted on September 20, 2015

The word punch may come from the Hindustani word panch, which means “five.”

Now, I immediately thought of the kind of punch that is a hit with a fist, and I thought, uh huh, five fingers closed up make a fist... But, it turns out, THAT sort of punch comes from the Old French word ponchonner, to jab, prick, or stamp, which comes from the word ponchon, which is a pointed tool. That makes a lot more sense than connecting the hitting kind of punch with something that means five.

The kind of punch we are talking about today is the kind of punch you drink at a party. What does a party drink have to do with “five”? you ask. Well, there traditionally were five ingredients in punch: water, fruit, alcohol, sugar, and tea or spices.

But etymologists aren't sure that this explanation for the word punch really... uh... holds water. (See what I did there?) Instead, some suggest that the word comes from the word puncheon, which is a barrel or cask for liquor.

Whatever. All I know is that MY party punch has completely different ingredients (and is super pretty and delicious!):

1 gallon orange juice
½ carton raspberry sherbet
1 liter 7-up or Sprite

Pour the orange juice into a punch bowl. Fill the top of the punch bowl with small scoops of sherbet. Pour the 7-up onto the sherbet so that it foams up.

I vary this punch with different juices, different flavors of sherbet, and sometimes ginger ale or cream soda. It's pretty hard to beat these sorts of punches in loveliness or yumminess!

But there are so many gorgeous, fun, and scrumptious kinds of punch. Check out these recipes!  Be sure to notice that there are some crazy Halloween punches among them!

Here are some great ideas:

For a Frozen-themed party, use Blue Hawaiian Punch, Sprite, and vanilla ice cream.

For a luau, combine lemonade with pineapple juice, perhaps some tropical nectars, and ginger ale.

For Halloween, get two sizes of punch bowls – mix up some punch in the smaller bowl, and put dry ice in the larger bowl. Cool, huh?

A Christmas punch could start with cran-raspberry juice, vanilla ice cream, and Sprite, for the red-and-white colors. Make it even more festive by coating the rim of your glasses with sugar – just dip each glass into a bowl with a small amount of cool water and then into another bowl with the same amount of sugar.

Also on this date:

Glass artist Dale Chihuly's birthday

Plan ahead:

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