“I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink.” ~Joe E. Lewis
I agree, and for that reason I think we should all have a little drink to sweeten last minutes of pre-Christmas madness. So, here we go!
Cheers to you, my friends!
4th year in a row, I am blessed with Caribbean Christmas, so I thought it was time to mix my own Ponche De Crème. I very much enjoy a little glass (well, more like two!)of this lusciously rich and creamy, cinnamon and nutmeg flavoured, super moreish drink, which during the festive time is as big of a deal as the mulled wine where I’m from. No, WAAAY bigger than that!
Ponche De Crème, Ponche De Creme, Punch De Creme, Punch a Crème, Punch a Creme, Ponche Crema or simply, Puncher Creamer (in mine)… comes from Trinidad, but this sweetest of cocktails defines a Christmas drink pretty much at every beach or not bar, all over the Caribbean isles.
It is quite similar to eggnog, which like in USA & Canada is served from Thanksgiving through to the end of the Christmas season.
If you like Baileys on ice you will love Ponche De Crème!
Eggnog contains eggs, fat milk or cream and sugar, and spirits like brandy, rum or bourbon. In Ponche De Crème eggs are sometimes omitted or replaced with pumpkin or banana. Also evaporated and condensed milk take place of the fat milk & sugar and it is normally the famous, local white or dark rum, that takes the center stage in the spirits section.
Then we have the seasonings like nutmeg, cinnamon and lime zest. My boyfriend, for example, likes to drop a cinnamon stick into the ready Ponche De Crème and let it soak in.
Proportions of the Ponche De Crème vary from bar to bar, but the ingredients stay the same. I removed eggs from my version, but feel free to experiment by adding 4 egg yolks to start with and see how you like it. Whisk the egg yolks well, until creamy and start to turn pale, before mixing both milks, rum and seasoning in. Make sure you store your Ponche De Crème refrigerated to prevent a salmonella disaster!
Songs have been written about the Ponche De Crème and only when you try it you’ll understand why. After a few you might even sing along! Try this one – Lord Kitchener – Drink a Rum –
I believe that it is also due to the colder climate that in Europe mulled wine is the staple drink during Christmas. I must confess that I am very picky about the sweetness and spices in the mulled wine and I can only have a little bit of it while it is really, REALLY, steaming hot. After that it just does not serve the purpose and both, the aroma and flavour are just not something I could deal with in a “one more”.
On that note have a look at this hilarious take on Christmas food and drink from one of my favourite comedians, Michael McIntyre:
Wasn’t that good?! Oh, it makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it.
Mulled wine requires time and heat, Ponche De Crème – exactly opposite. It takes minutes to mix and it tastes best over ice. And let’s be honest here – it is so much nicer than the mulled wine!
So, now: put Lord Kitchener – Drink a Rum on, turn the volume and the good mood up and get busy with blending the Ponche De Crème! Cheers!
- 1 can (14oz / 400g) condensed milk
- 1½ cups (375 ml) evaporated milk
- 1 cup (250 ml) of rum
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg and more to serve
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 4 egg yolks (whisked until pale and fluffy), or 1 minced banana, or ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp Angostura Bitters
- Using a hand mixer or a blender, combine all ingredients; you can also shake it all up in a clean bottle, as it is often done in the Caribbean.