If you ever came to Madeira and you never tried a Poncha… Well, are you sure you’ve been on vacation or business in Madeira?
Poncha is one of “Madeira’s Must Try” drink, almost more important than Madeira Wine. After local beer, Poncha is the drink most people have! Everyone’s drinks it, so why don’t you?
Poncha is a local drink that people in Madeira drink since the first settlers came to Madeira.
Madeira in the beginning, was widely know for it’s sugar cane production.
From this sugar cane, people start producing sugar cane rum and sugar cane honey, and they still do it at this time. You can try the Honey Cake from Madeira that is made with Sugar Cane Honey.
Rum was always the preferred drink of sailors. If we see an old pirate movie you would see them always drinking rum! Well, Jack Sparrow at least is always drunk!
In the beginning the fisherman started mixing sugar cane rum, with sugar cane sugar and lemon juice. This is what we call nowadays the Fisherman’s Poncha (Poncha à Pescador em Português).
Rapidly it grew the reputation for it’s healing properties, so people around the island would drink a Poncha if they were ill, if the had a flew or a sore throat.
So, the fishermen prior to going to the sea would already started drinking Poncha as a prevention illness measure (So, you should drink it before you get ill…).
Well, Madeira for a period of time was the leading sugar provider of Portugal, and it was one of richest regions of Portugal, It was very important for the Portugal’s commercial trade.
Then Portuguese arrived to Brazil, and they started growing sugar cane there.
Brazil fast became the Portugal’s leading supplier of sugar, and they started doing their sugar cane rum there, which is widely know as Cachaça.
The Brazilians also started doing their own Poncha there, but they replaced the lemon juice for lime juice, added ice, and you have a Caipirinha.
It’s really curious that Caipirinha has it origin in such a small island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Nowadays the Poncha has grown it’s reputation very much, to the point where you can buy previous mixed bottles to take to your homeland. And we have many variations also.
For us there is only two types of Poncha:
The Fisherman’s Poncha, only sugar, rum and lemon juice. The traditional!
There’s a spin-off this one that is Regional Poncha, where instead of sugar they use honey and they also pour orange juice to the mix. This type of Poncha is the most vulgar and the most drinkable.
If you want to try Poncha we will tell you this: the Fisherman’s Poncha will grow hair on your chest, it’s for the strong hearted and the Regional is suited for everyone.
If you go to a local Poncha bar, you will see that there are many variations of Poncha, with tangerine, passion fruit, pitanga, english tomato, etc. Usually these are made not with rum but with vodka instead. Bartenders say that it tastes better with vodka. This is something that appeared in the last ten or fifteen years, when we grew up, there was only those two Poncha’s.
OK, they are very nice and tasteful, and we drink those sometimes, but we have to be true to you, that’s not the real Poncha. It’s something that appeared in the last years as Poncha stopped being a drink from the people and became “fashion” as more and more Poncha bar’s opened doors.
Hell, we miss the old times, where you had difficulties to find a local bar to drink a Poncha, because they usually just sold wine and beer. We still remember the times where there was Whisky Poncha and Absinthe Poncha, where they replaced the rum with whisky or absinthe.
Well, we, at Panda 4×4 Tours, are commuted to take you to taste the local way of living and doing things, not to be another provider of touristic tours.
So, we only take you to places that we go often, were you can taste the real deal, so you can get to know and understand our way of doing things.
When we stop at a bar it’s because we know that you’ll taste something good, fresh and traditional, not a hype or a fusion.
It’s the way we do things, so if you want to try our service please go to our page www.panda4x4tours.com and book us now!
If you’re reading us for the first time, we are Panda 4×4 Tours, a 4×4 Private Tours Service, where you can have an Off-Road Driving Experience at the wheel of our classics Fiat Panda 4×4 and also a Cooking Experience in full day tours, where we will teach you how to cook your own Espetada!
Seems interesting doesn’t it?
See you soon!