A classic of children's birthdays, this fruit punch recipe, which we can variously call ponche de frutas or coctel de frutas is an improved version of the original, healthier and more natural, one you will be happy to serve to little ones. There's also an option for the grownups.
By- Last reviewed . Published Aug 20, 2012
Why we ❤️ it
There cannot be a Dominican child's birthday party without Ponche de Frutas (Fruit Punch). In an introduction to Dominican party food for our first 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 small but essential details.
As a former child myself, and mother of one, I can attest that kids love this drink recipe. 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 at a child's birthday party than there are children) I am also sharing a little secret to "spike the punch" for them.
What's in fruit punch?
Fruit punch is basically fruit juice and small pieces of fruit.
And that's basically where the definition ends. People will add different types of juices, and different types of fruits to it. Some recipes call for store-bought fruit punch concentrates, orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, etc. This one is made with natural fruit juice.
Homemade fruit punch.
This homemade fruit punch recipe is made of delicious sweet flavors in fresh fruit. I have also added the absolutely essential (it seems) banana slices, as well as diced apples, cherries, pineapple, strawberries, mango, and pears. You can leave any of these out if you wish.
The base for the punch is the ever-popular passion fruit juice, but you can use pineapple juice, white grape juice, or apple juice. You can add some cranberry juice if you want the traditional reddish fruit punch color. See more Dominican fruit juices for ideas.
You can add sparkling water when serving if you want some carbonation in your fruit punch, but this is not typically how it's made.
For grownups, you can "spike" the punch with vodka, white rum. Be sure to keep the alcohol version away from the little ones.
- If you want to decorate the glasses like some fancy-looking cocktail, you can garnish with some sliced oranges, lemons, or lime, though I would not add them directly to the punch.
- Fruit punch was usually served in the traditional large punch bowl, but few people have those nowadays, so you can serve it in a large pitcher (or several), or a drink dispenser with a tap and add the fruits after serving.
- If you have any leftovers, pour it into popsicle molds and freeze them.
About this recipe
I must have drunk several gallons of Dominican ponche de fruta (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 and was laced with artificial red coloring and tons of sugar. You'll be glad to hear this one does not.
The greatest thing about this drink is how flexible it is. You can add or take out any fruits of your choice. Just get creative!
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Homemade Ponche or Coctel de Frutas (Fruit Punch)
- 2 qrt fresh passionfruit juice, [2 lt] or orange juice
Pick four (or more) of these fruits:
For the grownup version
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup white rum, or vodka
Fruit punch for kids
- Combine passionfruit and fruits. Add sugar or sweetener, stir, and add more to taste if you find it necessary. Chill before serving.
Fruit punch for grownups
- Mix the rum, lime juice and fruits (not the bananas, as they will blacken). Let it rest for two hours in the fridge.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 sweetened to taste and chill. Add the frozen fruits right before serving. Scoop the fruit into highball glasses and pour the juice over them.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
The ingredients for fruit punch vary depending on taste and availability. The base is fruit juice, either from concentrate or from fresh fruit. Diced and sliced bits of fruit are added, some popular ones are banana, apple, pineapple, berries, cherries and others.