Tourist and resident information on Portugal, Madeira and The Azores

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Poncha is a traditional alcoholic beverage from Madeira. It is made by mixing sugar, honey, lemon juice, and aguardente, which is a local brandy made from sugarcane, with hot water.

The mixture is then beaten with a wooden stick called a caralhinho ("little cock") until it becomes frothy and has a creamy texture. Poncha is typically served in small glasses and is often accompanied by a side dish of peanuts.

Poncha Madeira's Signature Drink.
Poncha Madeira's Signature Drink

Poncha has a long history in Madeira and is considered to be the island's signature drink. It was originally consumed by sailors and farmers as a way to ward off the common cold and stay warm during long, cold nights. Today, poncha is a popular drink among locals and tourists alike, and is often enjoyed at traditional bars known as "ponchocas".

The name may come from the Indian drink called pãnch/panch which also gave its name to "punch" in English.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in poncha, and it has become a symbol of Madeiran culture and tradition. Many bars and restaurants now offer their own unique variations of the drink, and there are even festivals and events dedicated to celebrating poncha and its heritage.

Poncha and a side dish of peanuts.
Poncha and a side dish of peanuts

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