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Food and Wine

Ponce

Typical livornese drink

The most famous Livorno's digestive was born around 1700. The ponce of Livorno seems to derive from the English punch , spread to town from the British community, which in turn derives from the hindi pancha, meaning five as necessary ingredients to prepare it: water, sugar, brandy, lemon and cinnamon.

Legend, however, wants the birth of ponce was accidentally for breaking some barrels of rum on carrying bales coffee beans; so it was that the dockers found the original taste that the liquor conferred to coffee. The punch, however, is not simply a proper coffee but a beverage that condenses the history of a place and its mix of cultures; English as rum and Arabic as coffee. A meeting of ingredients as well as Nations that for centuries have shuffled into "half-caste" Livorno.

Compared with the traditional English recipe, water has been replaced with the coffee and brandy with rum or like livornesi said with "rumme". The latter has become over the years a single drink, whose original recipe was created by Vittori of Livorno; a mixture of alcohol, caramel, sugar and essence of rum.

Even the poet Giosuè Carducci was a great admirer of the famous livornese drink, he wrote to a dear friend: "very black ponce we drank and with deep knowing, we never left a cup or a glass without seeing the bottom".

Today the recipe of ponce is registered to DOC by the delegation from Livornese kitchen Academy and the 5 ingredients are: sugar, lemon, rum, coffee, mastic or cinnamon.

albero detail
from the same territory