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Madeira Island drinks
The «Poncha da Madeira» is considered a traditional drink of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, it must be produced with an alcoholic drink known as «Rum da Madeira». This «Rum» is made from the best selection of sugar cane and carefully distilled, and produced by Companhia dos Engenhos do Norte, in the town of Porto da Cruz, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. for the privileges medals, including the International Spirits Challenge 2018, International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018, International Rum Conference, Madrid.
Sugarcane was introduced to Madeira in 1425 by Infante D. Henrique, imported from Sicily and is an agricultural species with greater relevance in the history of Madeira, which gave rise to the 'Era do Ouro Branco' because in the 15th century the island was a large sugar supplier and is currently still used for 'Poncha da Madeira', and even for sugarcane honey to make the famous 'Bolos de Mel'.
In addition to the Porto da Cruz mill, there were several small mills across the island, just as in the municipality of Santana, only in São Jorge, in Arco and Faial, in Arco da Calheta, in the Serra de Água site. , in 1857, in Câmara de Lobos, in the year of 1855, among several others, of which today, there are no traces.
The first mill that existed in Madeira is believed to have been that of Diogo Vaz de Teive, built in 1452, in Ribeira Brava, powered by water from the Ribeira.
In 1883, the Ribeiro Seco mill 'Aluísio César Bettencourt' was born, which is currently in operation, and in the village of Calheta, founded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a period of great industrial development, dated around 1901 , where at the time its work depended on a water-powered system, but today it works through the power of steam and water.
But it was in Funchal that the most important group of mills for the manufacture of sugar and brandy was concentrated, namely, around the Ribeira de Santa Luzia, founded by William Hinton in 1845.
Ingredients for the «Regional Poncha»
1/2 tablespoon of white/brown sugar
bee honey to taste
Madeira sugarcane spirit or «Rum»
Poncha preparation method
In a tall glass place the lemon peel;
Add a tablespoon and a half of white or brown sugar and crush with a pestle;
Squeeze the juice from lemons and oranges;
Add the juice to the husk and sugar mixture. Mix it with the cock. Strain the mixture into the pitcher.
Add the sugar cane brandy (the same volume as the orange and lemon juice). Add the honey with the help of the “mechelote” (traditional tool on the island of Madeira for mixing ingredients).