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The Word “Punch” Is From Hindu “Panch” Meaning ‘Five’ – The Number Of Ingredients

National Punch Day is observed each year on September 20. While there are several directions this day could go, such as honoring tools used to make holes or a day created to throw a few punches at a punching bag, we will direct you toward the thirst quenching version of the delicious, refreshing drink.  National Punch Day is listed as one of many American Food Holidays.

A wide assortment of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, fall into the category of punch.  Often made with a combination of fruit juice and a carbonated beverage, a punch is served at parties weddings and other celebrations in large, wide bowls known as punch bowls.

  • Fruit punch was introduced from India to the United Kingdom. This happened in the early seventeenth century, and from there its use spread to other countries.
  • The word punch is a loanword from Hindi panch (meaning five).  The drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea or spices. The original drink was named paantsch.
  • The term punch was first recorded in British documents in 1632. At the time, most punches were of the wassail type made with a wine or brandy base.
  • Around 1655, Jamaican rum came into use and the ‘modern’ punch emerged. By 1671, documents make references to punch houses.
  • Punches are extremely common among parties for college and university students. These punches tend to be highly alcoholic and made with cheap ingredients.
  • In 1934 A.W. Leo, Tom Yates and Ralph Harrison developed the first Hawaiian Punch recipe in a converted garage in Fullerton, Calif. They wanted a tropical-tasting syrup to add to their line of ice cream toppings sold under the trade name Pacific Citrus Products Company.
  • The U.S. Patent Office gave Leo’s Hawaiian Punch its trademark on June 9, 1938. The “Leo’s” was dropped several years later.
  • It wasn’t until 1946 — more than ten years after Hawaiian Punch’s debut — that it was finally marketed as a beverage.
  • Artist Martin Mandelblatt is credited with the creation of Punchy, who appeared as a cartoon character on television for the first time in February 1962. Punchy became an instant advertising success and brand identifier for young people.
  • Punchy’s “How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?” tagline personified the brand’s image and advertising, and was copyrighted in 1964.
  • In 1992, a clever presidential promotion campaign promoted Punchy as the favored candidate (“No one else has the punch”). While Punchy didn’t win the election, his popularity soared.
  • Largest Punch Bowl-world record set by Courvoisier and Bompas & Parr. They created “The Architectural Punchbowl”, a whole room transformed into a giant punchbowl holding 4,000 liters of a new cocktail called ‘The Emperor’s Shrub.


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