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Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink from the island of Madeira, made with aguardente de cana (distilled alcohol made from sugar cane juice), honey, sugar, lemon rind and with different fruit juices according to the version of poncha, but traditionally lemon juice is used.
It is mixed together with a mixing tool created in Madeira officially called a mexelote but more commonly known as a caralhinho (little cock), which is in fact a type of muddler. Caipirinha is based on poncha.
It is said in Madeira that poncha cures the common cold and people are encouraged to drink it if they have cold-like symptoms.
The drink may be based on an Indian drink called pãnch/panch. In Hindi pãnch/panch means five and the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. This is also where the English drink punch originated from.
- Ehrlich, Richard (2002-10-20). "My Round: Madeira mixes things with the best". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2012-08-22.