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We bet you’ve never wondered about the history of punch, because we hadn’t. But since today is National Punch Day, here’s a little tidbit we may all find useful in a future trivia game!
The beverage known simply as “punch” is thought to have originated in 17th century England when the concept and the term migrated from India along with the spice trades of the East India Company. The name comes from the Hindi word paanch meaning “five” which suits the first punch recipe, a five-ingredient concoction comprised of alcohol, sugar, lemon or lime juice, water, and spices. Can you imagine how exciting it was to have this new-fangled drink recipe in 16th-century England?
Eventually punch made its way throughout Europe and 400 years later, Americans had really sweetened up to the concept by serving non-alcoholic, ice cream based versions anywhere and everywhere there was room to show off a gorgeous glass punch bowl. We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure most of our childhood fluid intake was that famous sherbet punch our parents served at scouting events, sports end-of-season awards, church dances, school holiday parties… If you need a blast from the past, here’s the recipe. It’s a whole lot of fun and costs next to nothing.

Rainbow Sherbet Punch Recipe
(recipe serves 10 to 12 people)
• 2 liters chilled lemon-lime soda (or ginger ale)
• 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
• 1 half-gallon container rainbow sherbet
• Large punch bowl
• Ladle for serving
• Cups or glasses for drinking

In a large punch bowl, add the frozen orange juice and full bottle of soda and mix until smooth. Use an ice cream scoop to add the sherbet. The individual scoops will float on top of the punch bowl.

Of course, you can zhuzh it up with a fresh combo of juice, soda, and sherbet flavors but there’s just something about that original recipe and the way that rainbow melts into the punch… Sometimes we can’t improve upon perfection. How do you think 15th century India would’ve liked Rainbow Sherbet Punch?