If you’ve been to Jamaica or have roots there, you’ll probably be aware of its national dish ackee and saltfish and might even champion jerk chicken, rum or Red Stripe beer.
But if you’ve never tried strongback punch, you’re missing out on a real treat — it’s regarded as both an aphrodisiac and a cure-all for minor ailments.
Scientific evidence of its health-enhancing properties is a little thin on the ground, but it tastes great regardless.
And drinking this protein-packed elixir might provide an insight into the type of cuisine that makes Jamaicans punch above their weight in spheres as diverse as music and sports.
So if you fancy a filling tipple that tantalises the taste buds and might add a little Caribbean spice elsewhere in your life, look no further.
Guinness stout is the traditional liquid base of this delicious drink — but instead of purchasing the creamy variety in the widget can, opt for three bottles of the beer brand’s Foreign Extra Stout for extra kick and flavour.
You’ll then need one cup of raw porridge oats, one can of condensed milk, one tablespoon of vanilla essence, half a tablespoon of grated nutmeg and half a pound of natural peanuts.
Add a dash of patience too, because you’ll need to soak the raw oats in the stout for 24 hours before you even start to think about introducing the other ingredients.
The final secret ingredient is an active greens snack from Organic Food Bar, which contains goodies like organic almond butter and tapioca syrup — find it at at wellbeing store Kijani Living.
Smash up your snack bar with a rolling pin until it breaks into more manageable chunks, then place them in a blender.
Add the natural peanuts, condensed milk, vanilla, nutmeg and stout and oats mix and blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth yet thick consistency — a little like a hearty milkshake.
Then either chill your punch in the refrigerator or simply pour it over ice to enjoy straight away.
As an alternative to condensed milk, many Jamaicans use energy meal Supligen — and the soft drink Malta is an excellent non-alcoholic alternative to stout which tastes sweeter, but still carries many of the same flavours.
If you don’t like stout (or malty non-alcoholic soft drinks), it’s possible to swap them for a blend of water and soursop (graviola) juice, and either replace the peanuts or add to them with other natural ingredients like spirulina and Irish moss (carrageen).
This second type of strongback blend is favoured by the Rastafarian community because it omits alcohol and more closely aligns with their mainly plant-based Ital diet — so give it a whirl and see if it works wonders for you too.
Whichever strongback punch you try, it’ll introduce an authentic slice of island life into your diet — try it today and you’ll wish you discovered it sooner.
Have you tried strongback punch? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Brought to you by our friend, Kevin F.