Summer’s coming up. A lot of people are already talking about punch recipes. I always thought punch was a way of saying, “We didn’t buy the good stuff, so we’re going to cover it up with some orange juice and a floating piece of pineapple.”
People always ask, “Are we gonna spike the punch?” My answer is always, “Well, isn’t that the first ingredient?” Otherwise, we’re just having 7-UP with sherbet.
I’m not gonna say I’m a connoisseur of punch, but I started drinking punch very early in my life. I remember all the birthday parties I went to as a kid. Every kid at the party had a red-tattooed stain one inch above their upper lip. Back then, the typical kid’s birthday party punch recipe was basically made of three ingredients divided into three equal portions in a pitcher. The first ingredient was the base for the punch: the original Mt. Dew or Mello-Yello soda which could keep you awake for a month. Secondly, there was Kool-Aid with toxic amounts of red dye No. 40. And thirdly, there was an entire 50-pound bag of sugar. Back then, we didn’t have bouncy houses, water slides or even pony rides at birthday parties. Every kid was so jacked up, we just ran around in circles or all the way home. Those were good times. It all ended when we heard about Jim from Jonestown. We started drinking sweet tea.
The next “punch” stage of my life was during high school and the first couple years of college. I’ve seen movies and heard stories of how people spike the punch at prom or the school cafeteria. I’ve even heard of this folk legend punch called “Hunch Punch” that has a different recipe for every college mascot in the country. Seeing as I was not of legal drinking age during those times, I’m not familiar with such fraternizing.
Apparently, my uncle makes the best punch at any party on his block. I’ve never had it because he’s in prison.
On the other hand, my granny had a famous punch recipe that was front page in the church recipe book, called “The Babymaker.” This punch was served at all the weddings, as well as any baby showers and even at the young married couples group every Wednesday night after prayer service. Word spread throughout the community about Granny’s Babymaker Punch. Everyone wanted to get married at her church; the hall was always booked up for baby showers, and the young married couples group brought in folks from three counties around. After a couple years, people noticed that the church family wasn’t growing, and new baby numbers in the community hadn’t increased any more than normal. People started to wonder why the Babymaker Punch wasn’t working. Someone finally asked Granny why the Babymaker wasn’t doing what it was intended to do. Granny’s reply was, “Oh, my punch has nothing to do with fertility. After drinking three glasses, you can’t talk, can’t walk and better be wearing a diaper like a baby.”