Punch – from India to the whole world

Moravský Vinný Punč

It’s a favourite beverage at the parties and Christmas markets. The main ingredient is wine with added alcohol, fruit, and spices. This is what we imagine when we think about punch in our cultural environment. Can we apply these characteristics everywhere?

Imported by English sailors
Firstly, we can thank Indians and then Englishmen for a typical addition to the Christmas atmosphere. Punch originated in India and the word ‘punch’ is derived from Hindi and means ‘five’ as the drink was originally made with five ingredients – alcohol, lemon, sugar, water (or tea), and various spices

The English sailors brought punch to Europe and then it was introduced to the whole world. Its unique taste captured sailors and employees of the British East India Company and they brought a recipe back to England at the beginning of the 17th century. In British historical records, the term ‘punch’ appeared in 1632. During that period, wine or brandy was used. This changed around 1655 when Jamaican rum was imported to Europe and its popularity gave birth to punch as we know it today. On the journey through the world, its recipe changed slightly due to preferences of each country.

Punsch or Agua Loca
During the traditional Christmas celebrations in Germany, everybody enjoys punsch made with a mixture of fruit juices and wine or spirit. The German feuerzangenbowle is a punch made with red wine and burning rum, which is poured on a large sugarloaf placed in the centre of a giant pot.

In Mexico, punch is called agua loca that means ‘crazy water’. The basis of the sweet drink is a fermented sugar cane which is supplemented with mescal and tequila. To this mixture, an agua fresca is added – a sweet non-alcoholic beverage made from fruit, cereals, and water. This sweet drink is seemingly harmless but strong spirit can be very intoxicating…

Punch is well known even in Réunion in the Indian Ocean, where they prepare it with locally available ingredients – rum, vanilla, mango or lychee, and sugar cane. The traditional punch in Korea is called sujeonggwa and it’s made with dried persimmon (Diospyros kaki), cinnamon, and ginger.

They way we like it
In our country, we like punch made with tea (fruit juice or water), red or white wine, liquor, and sugar. Fruits and species are a must. Besides lemon, oranges, strawberries or pineapple, we also add dried fruits, nuts, or almonds to the punch. Also lemon and orange peel can be used.

We spice the drink with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla pod, star anise, or cardamom. However, ready-made spice mixtures are commonly available in shops. Punch should contain about 30% of alcohol and that’s why we use rum, griotka, gin, or armagnac besides just wine.

Try the Metelka’s punch
Whether you like punch in any variation, you will surely enjoy Metelka’s Moravský vinný punč. Its main ingredient is quality red wine from the South Moravian Region which distinguishes it from any similar products on the market. High density and flavour allow to prepare a quality hot drink with 1:2 boiling water (e.g. 100 ml of the wine punch pour with 200 ml boiling water). You can achieve a delicious result even at a 1:3 dilution. The flavour and aroma of the drink are in harmony with a predominant aroma of vanilla, tuzemák (a traditional Czech distilled beverage), and citrus fruits.

Source: Wikipedia, internet