September 20th is National Rum Punch Day. While the word “punch” conjures up a large bowl of drink, the word actually derives from the number five in Sanskrit and Hindi.
Punch is a general term for a broad assortment of mixed drinks, made with or without alcohol. The word “punch” derives from the Hindi word, panch, from the Sanskrit is panchan, five.
In India, panch was made from five different ingredients: sugar, lemon, water, tea or spices and an alcoholic spirit; hence the name.
Punch was “discovered” in India by the British sailors of the East India Company. The concept was brought to England in the early 17th century. From there it spread to other countries.
While Western punch recipes generally contain fruit or fruit juice, fruit isn’t essential. Nor is an elegant punch bowl required: a pitcher is fine, and in many cases, it’s more practical.
You can also make just one punch drink at a time. Here are two recipes for individual punch drinks—rum punch, of course, to celebrate National Rum Punch Day.
For serving in tall glasses, get some fun straws.
It’s hard to resist 144 cocktail umbrellas for $4.79, but we resisted.
This classic rum punch uses two different types of rum: white and dark. If you don’t have both, use what you have.
Because this recipe is in “parts,” you can make anything from a single glass to a party portion, without any calculations.
Ingredients Per Drink
1. COMBINE all liquid ingredients iIn a large container. Refrigerate until chilled and enjoy. If making a large batch, just before serving…
2. POUR into a large punch bowl, stirring in ice. Garnish the bowl with floating lemon slices. Serve each glass with a lemon wheel.
This recipe, from Inspired By Charm, uses coconut rum and dark rum. No dark rum? Try it with all coconut rum.
 Grenadine and orange or yellow fruit juices create the “sunset” effect (photo © Inspired By Charm).
Ingredients Per Drink
1. POUR into a glass the pineapple juice, orange juice, 1 ounce dark rum and 1 ounce coconut rum. Gently stir.
2. SLOWLY POUR in a splash of grenadine. The grenadine will sink to the bottom to create the “sunset” coloration.
3. ADD 1/2 ounce of dark rum to the top. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve.
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