Punch House

Punch House, located in the basement of Thalia Hall, invites you to circle ’round a bowl of punch and lose track of the time. ‘Punch,’ borrowed from the Hindi word ‘panch’ (meaning five) refers to strong, weak, bitter, sour, and sweet, the five flavors in every batch of punch. Punch originated in the middle 17th century as a method for British Merchant and Navy sailors to water their rum rations, allowing an all-day drink with mitigated effect. The consequent fortification also purified otherwise questionable drinking water, a helpful side effect. Utilizing the exotic fruits, spices, and teas made available by their journeys to India, these early intoxicologists unwittingly gave wellspring to the modern cocktail.