The Fruit Punch has a diverse and long history, dating as far back as the colonial invasion, the Spanish dominance in the Caribbean and the arrival of rum on eastern shores. This early version of punch was concocted in its earliest days to tame the fiery rum which was hardly the distilled and refined version enjoyed today.
The etymology of the cocktail can be traced back to the Hindi word ‘paanch’ or five, meaning the five ingredients that Indians used to make a drink in the 17th century. An early written record of fruit punch is found in the letters of the German factory manager Johan Albert de Mandelslo, who wrote about a rum, rose water and citrus infused beverage that labourers enjoyed in Surat.
Fruit punch, with roots in the British East India trade was brought back to England during the restoration period. In fact, it quickly became a popular drink among sailors because its high citrus content helped them to combat scurvy.
When punch arrived in England, ingredients like tea and nutmeg were added to the recipe, punch bowls became a popular trend and fruit punch endured as a favourite tipple among the English aristocracy for centuries. In the Caribbean too, rum punch made using locally available spices was a sought after drink during the 19th century for the distinctive, refreshing taste it carried due to the addition of tangy, tropical fruits.
Now, the non-alcoholic fruit punch is a delectable mocktail recipe made with the same ingredients, of course, with the exception of rum. According to certain sources, the no-booze variation of the popular fruit punch started gaining traction during the temperance movement of the mid-19th century which advocated moderation and even complete abstinence, from alcohol consumption. As the movement started gaining widespread appeal, the ‘temperance punch,’ without the addition of alcohol was served at spaces where liquor was prohibited.
Overt time, the mocktail has enjoyed an enduring popularity because of its fresh and juicy flavours enhanced by bubbly soda or sprite. You can add a host of different fruit juices to a classic punch recipe like orange, cranberry, litchi and pineapple and infuse it with zesty lime and lemon juices, freshly brewed black tea, sugar syrup, fizzy soda and sometimes, even ginger ale.
It is easy to make a bowl of fruit punch and it can be your go-to mocktail for a short notice gathering. There are many variations of the classic fruit punch, but read on below for a recipe made up of few basic ingredients that will give your mocktail a fresh and rejuvenating appeal:
Combine all the ingredients in a highball glass.
Add lots of ice and stir it well.
Top up with soda or Sprite.
Garnish with chopped apples.