Ponche crema is the Venezuelan version of an eggnog. Creamy, spiced and with a happy touch thanks to a hint — or maybe more— of Venezuelan rum.
In case you didn’t know, Venezuela has one of the best rums in the entire world. You may think that this is the classical case of nationality proud but …. well, I will let facts speak for themselves here.
For us, rum beverages are quite common because:
- It is cheap in Venezuela (Yes, for us rum is like wine for Europeans).
- We have a wide variety of rums ( from white rum to aged dark rum).
Ponche crema is our typical Christmas beverage. It is what we drink as a family while we prepare the Christmas family dinner. With the first sip of ponche crema, you can already feel in full-Christmas mode. For me, this holiday starts in October because I’m obsessed with it.
My mom always preferred to make her own ponche crema instead of buying a bottle in the supermarket. And I can guarantee you that my mom’s ponche crema beats any store ponche crema with eyes closed.
So today I will give you not only a classic recipe for a good Venezuelan ponche crema, but I will give you a piece of my family’s cooking secret.
This recipe means a lot to me. When you live away from your family, holidays become bittersweet moments of the year. To counteract this, I make recipes that keep me connected to my roots, with my beautiful Venezuela and my family.
I really hope you like this recipe. And if you have a Venezuelan friend that needs cheering up in the holiday season, you can serve a big glass of ponche crema “on the rocks” to make them feel in the Christmas mood instantly!
- 2 cups milk
- 400 gr condensed milk
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup rum
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- lime zest
Heat the milk in a big pot over low heat.
Add cinnamon stick, the nutmeg, the lime zest and the condensed milk.
With a spoon, grab some of the mix and add it to the beaten eggs to temper the yolks. Then pour the eggs into the mix and keep stirring. (note 1)
When the ponche crema is thick enough, pour the rum, remove from the stove and take the cinnamon stick out.
Blend and store in a glass bottle. (note 2)
- This technique is called tempering the egg. Slowly heating up the temperature of the eggs avoids that they scramble into the hot milk.
- This homemade ponche crema can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Bonus track: Venezuelan Gaitas (This are our traditional Christmas songs)