(CNN) -- The first rule of punch is that there needs to be plenty of it.
If you're making punch, you're having a party. (If you're not and you're making some anyway, I salute your life and the way you live it.) Punch should be a lavishly flowing thing, spilling out past the bounds of a mere cocktail shaker. Pitcher? Pah! You're thinking too small. Commandeer your largest cooking pot -- or a punch bowl if you're blessed enough to possess such a thing. Ladle from it with love.
But most righteous are those who bypass traditional kitchenware completely and opt for the trash can. In goes the Everclear (dude, there's gotta be Everclear), the contents of the lowest shelf at the liquor store (rum's good, so is vodka, and that weird, off-brand non-Kentucky whiskey that comes in a plastic handle and smells of dorm carpet) and fruit. Gotta be some fruit -- both juiced and whole. No one is getting scurvy, rickets or any other dread pirate diseases on your watch, Captain. Cheers.
re: Drink query - solid representation for hunch punch, jungle juice, Purple Jesus. Few for hooch, red death, wapatooli, yukaflux (1/2)— Kat Kinsman (@kittenwithawhip) March 1, 2014
Think you're too fancy or grown-up for punch? You deserve no punch. Your Red Solo cup or vintage, cut-crystal glass will be confiscated, and you are hereby sentenced to flat beer and warm vodka tonics until you realize the error of your ways. Punch is an invitation to share in an event, jump into the current, bob to the surface and float merrily with the rest of the crowd. If someone hands you a cup of punch when you walk into their home, backyard or random parking lot, the tone is set and you may as well sing along. (And if you don't drink booze, man, that's cool, too. Totally cool. Stick an umbrella or some hunks of fruit in there for extra festiveness and party the heck on.)
(drink cont.) hairy buffalo, sneaky punch, shine, hooligan soup, humdingers, purple cow, blackout juice & plain ol' party punch. (2/2)— Kat Kinsman (@kittenwithawhip) March 1, 2014
Punch makes a host's life simple, and allows him or her to come across quite hospitably. Mix up a massive batch ahead of time (most are even better when they have a chance to meld for a while), set up a filling station and you're good to go, libation-wise. It's easy enough to scoop out a serving and meet guests at the front door (or over by that guy's station wagon) with a welcome beverage, or allow them to meet over by the punch bowl (or can). Moreover, it leaves a host free to slip through the crowd, mixing, chatting, collecting empties and generally making a splash at this well-lubricated affair.
And yes, yes -- punch can go pinky-up, topped with champagne and full of mixologically clever macerations. It sure can, and it's fantastic when that happens, but it has to deliver on the implicit promise of punch. There should rightly be a small phalanx of empty spirits bottles to be hauled away after deployment -- not to mention the husks of spent fruit, juiced of all their usefulness or booze-soaked and suited for snacking on in the wee (wheeee!) small hours.
Things may be a little sticky the next day -- your counter, your floor, your social life -- but your happiness level will surely be punched up.
Brandy Punch -- "Here's How" (1941)
"It's a drink you can remember -- if you CAN remember"
3 quarts brandy
1/2 pint Jamaican rum
1 gill curacao
1 gallon water
6 lemons (juice only)
1/2 pint raspberries
Mix the liquors and pour into punch bowl containing large piece of ice. Add lemon juice, water and enough sugar to sweeten. Next put in 3 oranges, sliced, a diced pineapple and 1/2 pint raspberries. Let stand until thoroughly chilled.