A beverage that mixes various ingredients (such as liquor, liqueur, wine, fruit juices and carbonated beverages). Punch may be cold or hot and is typically made in large quantities and served from a large "punch bowl." It's often garnished with fresh fruit. Some punches add milk or cream (as in eggnog). "Cups" are punches made in a pitcher and poured into glasses or cups.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.