Having planned a mincepie and herbal punch late morning gathering for a few friends and neighbours in December, I discovered that the popular 'Norfolk Punch' was no longer obtainable in the UK as all production has emigrated to Australia.
On checking the website for this punch I was fascinated by the number and variety of herbs included in the original 700 year old recipe as produced by the monks of that time.
It would be fun to try a home made version and so I wonder if any members know of a similar recipe and might send me details or post them on the forum.
It does seem a great shame that such an interesting historical recipe has been lost from England. Maybe herbalists here could mull over monastical and folkloric records for another delicious herbal punch. Even a competition perhaps!(the winner would be very welcome to my December do as would other members who live nearby or may just happen to be passing).
I can't believe that Norfolk Punch is no longer available in this country! Have you tried emailing the company to see if there is a UK stockist and if not WHY not?
The NP recipe uses natural spring water, honey, and the original mixture of herbs which include Alehoof (Ground Ivy), Alder Cone, Angelica, Basil, Bay Leaf, Blackcurrant Leaf, Camomile, Caraway, Cinnamon, Clove, Comfrey, Daisy, Dandelion, Dill, Dock, Elderberry, Elderflower, Fennel, Feverfew, Ginger, Grape, Hop, Lemon, Liquorice, Lime Flower, Meadowsweet, Melissa, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Poppy, Privet, Rock Parsley, Rosemary, Samphire, Thyme, and Vervain. Although they obviously don't say how much of each LOL!
I've become partial to elderberry rob thanks to Sarah Head giving me some to try, which is delicious served hot, it can be made with alcohol or without, you may be able to make it with dired elderberries if you can get them? I do know of two other commercial non-alcoholic punches one is made by a company called Rochester and it's called 'Mulled Berry Bunch', the other is Rock Organic Fruit Punch, both of them are cordials, which are delicious hot or cold (I mix mine with lemonade). You could also try Belvoir 'Winter Berries' cordial. In the past I've also mulled apple juice with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and some orange slices to make a non-alcoholic cider style punch. Delicious served hot.
None of my suggestions are as complex as good old Norfolk Punch, but useful if people want a quick non alcoholic punch alternative. I'll have a look and see if I can find any recipes for punches along a similar line to Norfolk, I have plenty of wine recipes, so maybe amongst them there are some non-alcoholic recipes! Will have a look and see what I can find.
Non-Alcoholic Winter Herb Punch Recipes
December 7 2007, 9:37 AM
Hi again Pam :)
As promised I've had a look through my Nan's old recipe book and the one from my busband's Gran and found a few recipes that may be suitable. They don't contain as many herbs as Norfolk Punch but what they do contain are all readily available and can be adapted to your own taste.
1 Litre White Grape Juice
250ml Earl Grey Tea
60ml Runny Honey
2 Bay Leaves
½ Tsp Whole Cloves
½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tsp Elderflowers
1 Tsp Meadowsweet
2 Cinnamon Sticks (Broken)
4 Allspice Berries
Zest and juice of ½ Lemon
Zest and juice of ½ Orange
This one is from my hubby's Grans recipe book, I haven't tried it yet, but I think I'll be giving it a go this year! Easy to make, add all the ingredients to a pan and warm through.
Santa's Little Helper
3 Litres Red Grape Juice
500ml Pure Orange Juice
240ml Runny Honey
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Pieces Fresh Ginger Root (about as long as your thumb, peeled and roughly chopped)
½ Tsp Cloves
Orange Slices to float on the top
My Nan made this for the children to drink when the adults were having the 'hard stuff; it always made us feel really grown up! The original recipe contained ground ginger, but its easy to get fresh ginger root now and I think it enhances the taste. Being frugal, if there was any of this left over my Nan used to serve it cold topped up with homemade ginger beer yum!
Easy to make, add all the ingredients to a pan and warm through, best served warm, but can be served cold see above!
Our Little Angel O:)
3 Litres White Grape Juice
125ml Runny Honey
2 x 10cm Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
3 x 7cm Sprigs Lemon Thyme
2 Pieces Candied Angelica (Use a little angelica root if you can't get candied angelica)
½ Tsp Juniper Berries
½ Tsp Coriander Seeds
½ Tsp Fennel Seed
¼ Tsp Caraway Seeds
Note that the original recipe called for Pear juice, but not sure how easy that would be to get now, if you didn't fancy juicing your own!? It was made for a christening party for one of my relations. I don't see why it can't be served at Christmas, you can give it a name like Christmas Angel or Angelic Host O:)
Put all the ingredients in a large pan and simmer slowly until heated, turn off the heat and allow the herbs and spices to infuse for a couple of hours. Once infused strain the punch through a fine sieve or muslin cloth and discard the spice/herb mix. Either serve cold with lemonade to top it up or serve smaller glasses of it after reheating it.
Hope they'll prove useful :) - Debs
December 9 2007, 5:39 PM
Many thanks for all your suggestions. The Colonial herb company's website for Norfolk punch does list all the herbs but, as you say, not the quantities and not the secret other ingredients. I have sent an email to 'Collector's Corner' of Norfolk who are supposed to be the UK reps but I do not know if anything will come of it. Australia is a lot of air miles for a few bottles of punch to travel so I shall have fun trying out your recipes and perhaps later on have a go at a more herbally one.
Meanwhile I shall get busy mixing and report back
Re: non-alchoholic punch
December 14 2007, 1:10 PM
Hi Pam :)
Glad the information and recipes proved useful, do let me know what you think of them if you try them and also if you do hear back from Collector's Corner let me know what they say. It does seem rather silly that a drink that orginated in Norfolk, England is now no longer available in the country of origin!
October 31 2008, 7:09 AM
Hi There. I have been alerted to your site by one of our clients. My company is the sole manufacturer of Norfolk Punch. It was in fact my father who revived it upon discovering the ancient recipe when restoring Welle Manor Hall in Norfolk. We are hoping to bring back Norfolk Punch to the UK, indeed I will be in England in June 2009 to see about re-launching and also looking for a distributor.
If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me.
February 29 2012, 4:31 PM
I have just come across some old postings about the non-alcoholic herbal drink that is Norfolk Punch. Norfolk Punch is made to a medieval monastic recipe with 30 herbs and spices. After a long absence we are now importing Norfolk Punch from Australia, but hope to re-establish UK production this year. If anyone is still interested in trying some Norfolk Punch please visit our website www.norfolkpunch.com for further information.
is the forum of the Herb Society (UK), the place to discuss
all aspects of herbs including their uses, cultivation, history, legislation
and much more. Run by and for the Herb Society (UK) and open to anyone to read, but posts will only appear once approved by a moderator.
Please note that the Forum Host and Moderators reserve the right to delete
any entry which is considered to be inappropriate for this forum, its members and the
Herb Society as a whole. IP's of spammers will be blocked.
The Herb Society is not qualified to provide medicinal advice. Useful contacts for such advice can be found on our contacts page. Officers and Council Members of the Herb Society (UK) accept no liability for any harm, damage, or illness arising from the use of plants mentioned or described on this forum.