December automatically means we are getting into the holiday spirit all around the world. My family celebrates Christmas and not just any Christmas but a Trini Style Christmas. That means sorrel, pastelles, black cake, homemade wine, ginger beer, massive amounts of food, and punche creme. I never spent an actually Christmas in Trinidad but I always spent Christmas with my Caribbean family in NY. I don't think I missed too much not being in Trinidad because ex patriots have a way of hanging on to traditions with a tight grip. Growing up my Christmas was always a Caribbean mix of traditions from Barbados and Trinidad. As a kid I was a picky eater and more focused on my new toys than sampling the array of goodies at the table. Now that I'm older I truly appreciate the rich traditions of a Caribbean Christmas which focuses and food, drinks, and the warmth that close friends and family brings. Now back to the drink...I don't like punche creme personally since I don't like milk based drinks but its a staple in any Trinidadian house during the holidays. This famous concoction is sometimes called ponche de creme or punch de creme. Most recipes call for eggs but my mom doesn't fancy that and uses coconut milk instead which makes for a drink where you don't have to worry about icky pieces chalazae (what trini people call the eye) in your cup or ecoli. When making punche creme most people I know sterilize old glass bottles such as those from wine but you can use a Rubbermaid pitcher. Also ideally punche creme should be made at least a day ahead and left to sit so the flavors can really combine, I promise you wouldn't be disappointed if you use this method. Also punche creme can be made virgin but you definitely don't get the same effect and it will definitely have to be refrigerated. To go the no fail traditional route use rum such as Bacardi which is widely available. I am happy to be sending this recipe from my table to yours and it would be a great addition to any holiday table so I hope you enjoy.
- 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk
- 2 14oz can of condensed milk
- 2 14oz cans of evaporated milk
- rind of one lime
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 dash of angostura bitters
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of your favorite rum
- Combine all of the milk together
- Grate rind of lime and add to mixture
- Add rum to mixture and mix vigorously with a whisk or swizzle stick.
- Strain lime out of the milk
- Add bitters, vanilla, and nutmeg
- pour into clean glass bottles or covered pitcher.