Vintage Punch Recipes

The British and other Sailors that experienced a drink in India during the heavy spice trading time, called Pancha ….or a similar spelling which means 5 in Hindustani. Pancha Bhoota represents the 5 basic elements of life and also……..Pancha….later became “Punch”.

The 5 Basic elements of Punch are…


A Spirit (usually Arrack a funky rum )




‘ Bantam Punch

1668 from the book The English Rogue, Continued, in the Life of Meriton Latroon and Other Extravagants. by Richard Head , yes that was this authors real name Richard Head

This punch was from the 1600’s and some of the ingredients are unfamiliar to me but It is fun to read about what the sailors were drinking then. It is the basic 5 item punch style except it has this seasoning from a sperm whale bluber called Ambergis, tha

to read about it go here Here are the ingredients

Batvia Arrack

This is a rum like spirit and the wonderful description and history is here at Drink Dispatch

This is called Ambergis and comes from a Sperm Whale and simplified it is clotted fat.

Lime juice

picture by prosthetic head



Rum Punch circa 1770

The peel of 8 Oranges and 8 Lemons in 1 quart of rum. 3 Gallons of Water boild with 3 lb. of loaf Sugar and the Whites of 8 Eggs. 2 and 3/4 pints of orange juice and 1 and 3/4 Pints of Lemon juice. strain the quart of rum from the Peel and add one Gallon more of rum to rest of the ingredients.” 
A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770, [South Carolina] edited with an Introduction by Richard J. Hooker [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 139)