If Karyn Williams-Sykes only knew the real reason I look forward to her annual Christmas Party. Yes I quite fancy her company and that of her hobbyist photographer hubby, Phil who gets all nerdy with me about photography and their charming daughter J’Ouvert who leaves me in stitches with her older than her age humour, but my motive has nothing to do with these lovely people. It does not even have to do with the Trini Parang Christmas music. Instead, it lies in a bottle.
If you have tasted Karyn’s Ponche de Creme, you know exactly what I am talking about. I swear it’s the reason I worked up the courage to go take a pregnancy test two years ago when almost everyone of my close friends was having some premonition of sorts of me being pregnant.
This is more than Dutch courage. It is good ole Caribbean courage.
Ponche de Creme is a Caribbean Eggnog, that is a popular Christmas drink in places like Trinidad and Tobago, Venezueala and other Latin American countries. Many of our hometowns have a version of this.
As sugar producing countries, we never need an excuse to incorporate alcohol into our food and festivities in the Caribbean. We are like the Italians and French in that regard. We do not tolerate public drunkenness either so it is the mark of a well brought up person to imbibe and still be in control of one’s faculties. In the Caribbean, we encourage people to know and respect their own limit. That limit is your own internal gauge over which one dares note exceed in fear of being ostracised. What we pride ourselves on toeing the line.
Usually Ponche de Creme calls for much stronger liquor like Puncheon Rum (which is up to 75% alcohol by volume) but I wanted to scale things back and incorporate brandy like Jamaican culinarian Kathi Cooke does to perfection. When I asked her why she opts for brandy over rum?
“Finer taste,” Kathi replied.
I concur. Furthermore, I have never seen Puncheon Rum sold in the UAE.
We heat our eggs for food safety over here at Chef and Steward and we show you how to do that in the printable recipe for our Trinidadian Ponche de Creme below.
Trinidadian Ponche De Creme | Boozy Caribbean Homemade Eggnog
This recipe makes 2 IKEA bottles of Ponche de Crème. If you want more, multiply accordingly. I suggest you at least double it. The geese might as well get fat.
STEWARD’S NOTE: If you really want to make this stretch, here are a few ideas.
- Serve smaller glasses. A larger glass means larger portions and the more you pour, the less you keep. Plus just in case someone doesn’t like it, you will not be giving them bad eyes throughout the evening for wasting your good good Ponche de Creme!
- Serve on ice. There is a reason F&B practitioners do the ice thing when they can get away with it! Since this drink is very sweet anyway and very rich and creamy, no one will notice. Plus it is best served ice cold anyway.
- Only offer to those who ask. Eggnog is a personal preference. Do not waste your good good Ponche de Creme on people who hate the stuff…though they may change their mind with this one!
- A good gauge of who will like this is whether someone likes Bailey’s or other Irish or Rum Cream drinks. This is of the same ilk.
- We cut out the egginess of the usual eggnog by beating the eggs with the lime peel as well as heating the eggs. So that means that those who would usually have less eggnog due it its cloying nature may want more. Therefore, use those small tumebers and double walled glasses!
Looking for more Caribbean holiday drink recipes? Try our Jamaican Sorrel Drink next!