Mum and Dad’s Christmas and New Year punch

Traditional Lum family Punch New Year's Day 2020. Gary Lum.

The traditional Lum family punch

Mum started this tradition in the 1970s when we would attend Christmas lunch at her brother’s house. Not long after Dad took it on as his task and adapted it. My brothers and I participated in an annual ritual on Christmas Eve helping Dad with the cherries, plums, and the passion fruit.

Like Chinese master stock or Ginger beer or sourdough bread, we’d keep a ‘starter’ from Christmas Eve and sustain it until after New Year’s Day.

Ingredients

  • Many litres of pineapple and orange juice.
  • At least a tin of crushed pineapple which needs to be processed more to a finer consistency.
  • A bag of oranges.
  • A cup or two of orange cordial (or really any citrus flavour you like).
  • Bottles of dry ginger ale.
  • Passion fruit pulp from as many passion fruit as you need.
  • Kilograms of cherries because as the pits are removed it’s difficult not to apply the cherry taxation.
  • Maybe a dozen plums.
  • Cucumber skin from a couple of cucumbers.
  • Mint leaves from your garden if you have one.
  • I don’t know how much Pimms, I cannot drink alcohol, so really it’s up to the reader to determine how much is required and for what purpose.

Instructions

  1. This punch is best prepared the night before.
  2. Remove the cherry pits and cut the cherries in half.
  3. Remove the seeds from the plums and cut the plums in half.
  4. Peel the skin from the cucumbers.
  5. Remove the pulp from the passion fruit.
  6. Remove the juice from the oranges and put into a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add about four litres of pineapple and orange juice and the crushed pineapple to the bowl.
  8. Add some orange cordial to the bowl. Yes, I know there’s already orange juice plus commercial pineapple and orange juice and the crushed pineapple which already has sugar in it but this is a recipe from the 1970s when sugar wasn’t regarded as the enemy of health and wellness. I’m just sharing what we did in our family. This is NOT a diabetes friendly drink.
  9. Mix in the passion fruit pulp, cherries, plums, cucumber skins, and mint leaves.
  10. Put the bowl into a refrigerator and leave overnight.
  11. Make large ice blocks with the ginger ale by freezing the ginger ale overnight.
  12. Prior to the party, add a ginger ale ice block to the punch bowl and allow it to thaw, add more ginger ale ice blocks as required.
  13. Another ‘adult’ bowl can be used so that Pimms can be added.
  14. Give thanks to my Mum and Dad for starting this tradition which my brothers try to carry on. I’m concerned about my diabetic potential so I refrain from this family tradition.
Traditional Lum family Punch New Year's Day 2020. Gary Lum.
Traditional Lum family Punch New Year’s Day 2020

Author: Gary

I'm a medical practitioner, specialist pathologist in microbiology, and Member of the Order of Australia (2003). I'm for resuscitation, if you find me struggling, please save me. I like to cook food, photograph it and then eat it. I'm also a fan of Star Trek, Stargate, Farscape, and Babylon 5.

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