Punch recipes come in different forms – published recipe books, domestic manuscripts, diaries, poetry novels and passing descriptions. The last two are sometimes incomplete and often lack proportions.
Early recipes are often in large volumes which need to be scaled down if serving less than 10 people and in doing comparisons, I scaled all recipes down to the same quantity.
Many recipes are plagiarised from other books – sometimes all that is changed is the quantity, or a suggestion that rum instead of brandy can be used.
Early recipes are fairly basic with a limited range of ingredients:
- Arrack, brandy or rum
- Oranges, lemons or limes
- Tea, milk or water
From the 19th century recipes became more complex and this is reflected in the growth in recipes published with different names becoming fixed to indicate the different tastes and styles. Plagiarism continues and it is often difficult to establish the origins of some punches.