Remember those 80s parties where the centre piece of the entire event was the punch bowl? Well, like it or not, punches are back in fashion, and as with many other crazes, this one has its origin in the US. The New York Times credits the punch revival to the publication of “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl” by David Wondrich in 2010.
In the book, the historian and mixologist traces the history of the punch, which was originally created by British sailors in the early 1600s. The sailors found that their regular drink, beer, was spoiled when they sailed to tropics such as India and Indonesia. Instead, they turned to local ingredients and created refreshing punches.
Today, punches are served in many of the hippest Manhattan bars and have begun to find their way to drink lists in Stockholm, too. The Berns Hotel’s rooftop members’ club, for instance, has been mixing punches all summer. There, the drink is served as tradition dictates – in a large bowl and enjoyed from small cups. If you’re not a member or staying at the hotel, you can always head to Södermalm instead and share a bowl with friends at 7 På Sjöfart, another bar with an affection for punches.
It’s easy to make a punch for your house party, too: just mix, for instance, gin, elderflower juice, lemon, mint leaves and soda water in a big bowl and put a big chunk of ice in the middle. But remember that punch should not be as strong as cocktails are: the point is that people keep coming back to the bowl, striking up conversations with new people and getting just a little bit tipsy in the process.