A History of Punch – Part 2: Quakers, Fishing and Smoking Bishops

From a spirituous bowl comprising of five ingredients easily acquired on the voyage on an East Indiaman, to a social tipple of middle class addiction, punch had not only evolved into almost every part of English society, but into that of her colonies as well. As the first permanent settlers arrived into America at the […]

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A History of Punch – Part 1: Sailors, Sack and the Number Five

Punch. The word inspires images of frat parties, freshers week, cheap 18-30 holidays to Tenne’grief and all things, sweet, fruity, sickly and above all else – ‘punchy’. The story of the ‘flowing bowl’ however, couldn’t be more different. Punch has played both the fuel and peace pipe to war. It has inspired Dickens, converted voters, […]

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Arrack: The lost spirit of adventure

Before sugar cane was planted in the Caribbean, before gin laid waste to London, even before the word “alcohol” was first used, people drank arrack. Yet in a modern world dominated by power-selling portfolios of vodka, gin, rum, brandy and whisky – one might ask; where is all the arrack? The ancient Indo-Aryan text of […]

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Monteith and the punch bowl

Along with the many changes made to English society during the reign of King William III (of Orange) and Queen Mary II, society also created an exceptionally elegant form of drinking punch known by the name of the “Monteith Bowl”. Reputedly named after a man of fashion who was remarked for wearing a scalloped coat […]

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Punch, born of the East Indies

The definition of Punch is credited as becoming first popularised amongst the merchants and privateers of the English East India Company whilst on their expeditions to the spice rich islands of the Indies. Its greatly believed that the etymology of the word is derived from old Hindustani word paanstch meaning “five“, implying a beverage concocted from […]

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Wassail punches recorded in India

English East India representative William Hawkins, while in the Indian city of Agra, recorded staying at the court of local Moghul Emperor, Jehangir. A self styled “Conqueror of the World” the Moghul was renowned for his love of the bottle and frequency in which he would indulge.  Of the Moghul, William describes; “…nightly Wassails [punches] […]

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English East India Company founded, the spice race begins

It was spice, not gold, which drove the dreams of men in the 17th century.  A time  when control over the humble nutmeg would influence four wars, the ownership of Manhattan island and global domination. During this period, nutmeg bought at its source could be sold for an impressive mark up of 60,000 times it […]

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Dickens, Bishops and 2000 bottles of booze

On June 9th, 1870 Charles Dickens died at the tender age of 58 at Gad’s Hill Place, near London and leaves behind a collection of more than 180 dozen (2160) bottles of wine, spirits and cordials. While cocktails were still finding their place in society, Victorian London remained a world socially dominated by punch, with […]

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