Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RECIPE - Ponche da Copa (World Cup Punch)

World Cup time is party time in Brazil. When the national team is playing, the country shuts down and everyone, literally everyone, heads for a TV at home, at a party in a friend's house, in a bar or restaurant, or on the beach, where the government sets up enormous screens to show all matches. Most offices close during the time Brazil plays, and even the government-owned Banco do Brasil closes all its branches before game time. The country is awash in green and yellow, the national colors, and for a time, football (soccer for Americans) replaces weather and political scandals as everyone's favorite topic of conversation.

Up to this point, Brazil has been doing quite well in the current World Cup in South Africa, and are already assured to move on to the next round, even though they must complete this round on Friday, June 25, with a game against their old colonial masters, the Portuguese.

I'll be having a group of friends over to watch the game on Friday, and no house party in Brazil, either at World Cup time or any other time, is complete without food and drink. I've already started the preparations for a feijoada - football is Brazil's national sport, so why not serve Brazil's national dish? There will be lots of beer and soda, of course, but Brazilians love to drink fruit juices too at parties, so I'll be making a non-alcoholic fruit punch to serve during the game. It's easy to make, delicious and very thirst-quenching. After screaming one's lungs out for an entire game, it also serves to soothe a scratchy throat.
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RECIPE - Ponche da Copa (World Cup Punch)

2 cups unclarified apple juice
2 cups orange juice, preferably with pulp
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large ice cubes
club soda
orange slices
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Place the juices, the condensed milk and the ice in a large blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large serving jug and top with a small amount of club soda. Stir very gently to mix.

Pour into tall glasses, adding additional ice cubes if desired. Decorate each glass with an orange slice (plus a small, paper Brazilian flag if possible)

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