Do the words ‘Carrot’ and ‘Punch’, when put together, sound insane enough for you to want to think of hurling some punches my way? Sounds fair, I had my apprehensions too. But if you’re from the Caribbean, this drink would seem familiar enough for you to make a quick dash to your kitchen to check if you have the ingredients lying around to make it ASAP. Which you probably do, well at least I always have condensed milk lying around for sneaking a spoon (or two) into my coffee!
And carrots? Since the road to decadence is paved with good intentions, I buy carrots every week to make a spicy soup or salad, but invariably, this is what I end up using them up in.
When I first made this Carrot Punch, I hoped this recipe would work mainly for two reasons. Firstly, there are such few ingredients involved, it seemed like something quick and easy to put together at short notice. Secondly, I perceived the hint of spices combined with carrot and condensed milk to be so close to ‘gajar ka halwa’, that I was convinced of this being a great option to serve during Diwali. This Carrot Punch proved me right on both counts. It’s got enough carrot juice to sneak in something healthy for picky eaters, and the condensed milk adds a creamy texture and enhances the natural sweetness of the carrots. I like to add about 200 grams, which is about half of the 400 gram container of condensed milk that’s sold in India, and add maybe a dash more because I like to serve it over crushed ice, which will dilute the sweetness slightly, when served.
General chatter on the internet suggests that this Carrot Punch tastes great spiked too, but I’ve had my reservations about this. Just a dash of white rum and not much more, is what works for me. Though, truth be told, I prefer this Carrot Punch without any alcohol. It’s just so refreshing to the palate and soothing to the eyes, I’d rather not mess too much with it, other than just tweaking the proportions of the ingredients sometimes. If you’re looking for something to wow your guests with during Diwali card parties (sigh, I know nothing about cards, but love the parties), this Carrot Punch, you’ll realize, will be the ‘it’ drink of the season.
Adapted from Thirsty For