In an introduction to Dominican party food for our book, Jill Wyatt wrote:
“Just as a child’s birthday cannot be appropriately celebrated without a sugary fruit punch in which banana slices are set adrift, it appeared that mourners could not properly grieve, nor could merrymakers effectively make themselves so, without some alimentary offering”.
Jill has a talent for capturing the small but important details.
I must have drunk several gallons of fruit punch during my childhood. And the first thing I and everyone else who did will remember is that mine doesn’t look much like that drink of bygone days. For starters fruit punch was always red (ish?). That is because the over-sweetened base that was used came from a plastic container.
Mine is made of delicious, natural juice.
As a former child myself, and mother of a 7 year old I can attest that kids love this drink. Mostly they love diving in for the fruit at the bottom of the cup. But if you are also inviting grown ups to the party (not an unusual thing here, where sometimes there are more grown-ups in a child’s birthday than there are children) I am also sharing a little secret to “spike the punch” for them.
And grown ups will appreciate that for their version I have used one of the products I have loved the most working with: Lil’ Shuga. A way to add just the right touch of sweet without adding too many calories. Like Hey Shuga!, Lil’ Shuga is made of pure cane juice, but Lil’ Shuga also contains Stevia.
Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar, although unfortunately it has a little of an aftertaste. By mixing it with sugar cane juice we get its sweetening power and all the flavor of the sugar cane with greatly reduced caloric content. The best of both worlds. For the children’s version I used Hey Shuga!.
Fruit punch is a classic of Dominican children's birthdays. Here we present you a reinvented version, as well as an option to serve to grownups.
- 2 qrt of fresh passion fruit juice
- 4 bananas, sliced
- 1 apple, cubed
- 1 cup of cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 cup of pineapple, cubed
- 1 cup of mango, cubed
- 1 cup of pear, cubed
- 1 cup of Hey Shuga!
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup of white rum
- 1/2 cup of Lil Shuga
- Mix fruits and passion fruit. Add Hey Shuga! to taste. Chill before serving.
- Mix the rum, lime juice and fruits (not the bananas, as they will blacken).
- Marinate for two hours.
- Remove the fruit from the rum mix. Spread on a baking tray and freeze.
- Mix the rum and lime mix with the passion fruit juice and chill. Add Lil' Shuga to taste.
- Add the frozen fruits right before serving.
This post is sponsored by Lil’ Shuga. The opinions within are 100% my own and have neither been revised nor altered by the sponsor.