Charles Dickens wrote in 'David Copperfield' in 1850, "Punch, my dear Copperfield, like time and tide, waits for no man ... His recent despondency, not to say despair, was gone in a moment. I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar, the odour of burning spirit, and the steam of boiling water, as Mr Micawber did that afternoon. It was wonderful to see his face shining at us out of a thin cloud of these delicate fumes, as he stirred, and mixed, and tasted, and looked as if he were making, instead of a punch, a fortune for his family down to the latest posterity."
And, in Dickens' "Scrooge," the miser's assistant, Bob Cratchit, is heard to compliment his dear wife's gin punch as the finest in London.
For a Christmas party, a proper Dickensian Gin Punch sets a festive mood.
So, how does one make a gin punch, and should you use just any gin? The answer to the second, for me, is, No. Don't just use any gin unless pressed by budget or circumstances (i.e. you are snowed in, and can't get out of the driveway).