The ancient punch recipes from East India typically included five ingredients, hence the name, which stems from the Hindu word "panch," meaning five. British sailors, according to Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, spread the recipes during the 16th century. A punch bowl is often the centerpiece at parties, and since many people gather around it you want to ensure that you have plenty of punch available for your guests.
Estimate how long the event will last. Calculate two servings of non-alcoholic punch per guest for the first hour and then one serving per guest for each additional hour. Reduce the number of servings by one or two per guest if you're serving alcoholic punch.
Prepare 4 to 8 oz. of punch for each guest depending on their ages if you are only serving cake at a short event like a birthday party. Serve up to 12 oz. per adult guest with a large selection of food such as hors d'oeuvres during a football game or at a wedding reception. Reduce the amount of punch you prepare by one or two cups per guest if you plan to serve other beverages as well.
Measure the liquid ingredients for the punch in ounces. One liter of prepared punch will equal 33 oz. when you convert it.
Measure the punch cups to determine how much liquid they will hold. The measurement will need to be in ounces. You can do this by filling one glass with water and pouring it into a measuring cup.
Prepare the punch ingredients. Double or triple the ingredients to meet the amount of servings you wish to have available. You can make each batch separately and keep it in the refrigerator until you need more punch.