A mixologist named Sam wished to participate in the upcoming Mixology Monday event: Your Best. Sam didn't have a blog, but he submitted to me his post nonetheless. I'm posting his drink here for all to see, as it deserves to stand on its own.
Last fall, a friend was in the process of defending his thesis, which dealt with the social dynamics amongst migrant farm workers in the Northeast United States. His life wasn't very pleasant at that moment, and I wanted to offer something as a way to cheer him up. And what better way to lift a friend's spirits than with, well, spirits?
I decided to make a punch, largely because communal culture was a central theme in my friend's thesis, but also because I really like making punch. I had also just then stumbled upon a recipe for homemade apple cider, which I was determined to involve somehow. Then it struck me that migrant farm workers are largely responsible for picking the apples, and what better way to honor them than to use the fruits of their labor, while also paying homage to their native origins?
Because my friend's field work had mostly involved Mexican workers, I chose ingredients commonly found in that part of the world. For a name I initially settled upon Migrant Farmworker Punch, but decided instead to make things more interesting and call it Si Se Puede Ponche. "Si se puede!" being the rallying cry of Cesar Chavez's California farm worker movement. The punch was a big hit and I have since made it a number of times, tweaking quantities and ingredients along the way.
Si Se Puede Ponche
1 part homemade apple cider (though, a quality store bought variety will suffice)
1 part hibiscus tea (I usually squeeze a few dashes of lemon and ginger juice in here to make a it bit more dynamic)
1.5 parts Reposado Tequila (I've used both the highly affordable Pueblo Viejo and Espolon to great effect)
.25 parts Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida employed here)
.25 parts vanilla syrup (homemade)
2 dashes mole bitters (Bittermen's)