If you’re Filipino and/or a boxing fan, chances are very high that you’ll be watching Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao take on Miguel Cotto this coming Saturday. And if you are going to be watching said match on said day, I’d be willing to bet that you’ll be doing so in the company of friends and family at a fight party.
And whether you’re hosting a fight party of your own, or just mooching off of someone else’s Pay Per View, why not loosen things up by contributing a lively libation in the form of a good ol’ fashioned punch? That’s right. Punch. Punch in the cocktail world is very much like Zombies in the movie world–they’re so hot right now.
But I’m not talking about your grandma’s punch that’s laden with 7-up and sherbert (though that is dang tasty stuff). Nor am I talking about that bowl of hooch you may fuzzily remember from college (good times). Instead, how’s about a wonderfully refreshing punch made with fresh fruit juice and good liquor–a balanced punch that Soda Popinski would sip with his pinky in the air, yet would still knock him on his arse.
So to commemorate what will hopefully be another historic victory (7 titles in 7 weight classes!) for my main man Manny, I’ve devised a simple, yet potent, potable that you can easily whip up for your own fight party festivities on Saturday. It’s a concoction I like to call Pacman Punch (pun definitely intended).
Pacman Punch is not only tasty (and an appropriate shade of Arcade Yellow), but it will calm any pre-fight jitters that anyone may have. Although I have nothing but utmost confidence in Pacquiao’s prowess in the ring, I always seem to get nervous before any of his bouts–I’m especially nervous this time around as Miguel Cotto is no Palooka.
In boxing circles, Cotto may best be known as a methodical stalker, a heavy-hitting body puncher, and the current WBO welterweight champ. But in foodie circles, Cotto may best be known as that guy who went toe-to-toe with Anthony Bourdain in Puerto Rico: (skip to the 6:15 mark)
Although Bourdain was no match for Cotto, something tells me that Manny hits harder than Tony (see Ricky Hatton). And I’m sure Manny’s been training harder than ever not only for this fight against Cotto, but for a chance at history. But then again, aside from training, Manny has also been doing a little gallivanting on the side:
Sometimes When We touch?!! Now can you see why I’m so nervous? Yes, I know these extracurricular activities are nothing new to Manny Pacquiao’s training regiment. And while it’s genetically impossible for me to be a Pacquiao-hater, I can’t help but be just a tad concerned with all these pre-fight distractions. But despite these distractions, I’m sure the Southpaw will prevail like he always has.
Luckily, I have just the drink to keep me calm (or belligerent) during what is sure to be an epic battle.
“Let me get raw with my southpaw style.”
Pacman Pacquiao Punch
4 cups pineapple juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh kalamansi juice, rinds reserved
2 cups white rum
1 cup dark rum
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Before making the punch, you’ll need to prepare a giant block of ice for your punch bowl. One big block of ice is better than multiple ice cubes because the block of ice will melt slower and therefore will not water down the punch–and besides, a giant block of ice looks awesome. If you don’t have a punch bowl, a giant ice block will not be needed, just chill and serve the punch out of a pitcher.
To make a giant block of ice:
You can make a giant block of ice by simply freezing some water in a bundt pan or large bowl. Make sure you freeze the water overnight until it is completely solid. For decorative purposes, you can even freeze some cherries or other purty things in the ice.
Bundt Cake Ice
While your big block o’ ice is freezing, you can make your punch and chill it overnight before serving it.
To make the punch:
In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the fruit juices with the rums and stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine the reserved kalamansi rinds with the sugar and then muddle (crush together) with a muddler or wooden spoon until sugar soaks up citrus oils. Bring a cup of water to a boil, pour into the sugar and citrus peel mixture, and then stir until sugar dissolves. Strain and discard the kalamansi rinds, then pour the kalamansi syrup into the juice and rum mixture.
Taste the punch. Depending on your pineapple and orange juice, sweetness will vary. Add more kalamansi juice if needed, or more sugar if needed. Chill the punch overnight while the ice block is freezing.
To serve the punch:
Remove the ice from the bundt pan by dipping the bottom of the pan in some hot water for a few seconds. Unmold the ice onto your hand, and then very gently place the inverted ice in your punch bowl–you don’t want to shatter your bowl do you? (Of course not, especially if it’s an epic antique punch bowl you borrowed from your mother-in-law.)
Now that’s an ice cube!
Pour the chilled punch into the punch bowl. Garnish punch bowl and/or punch cups with orange slices. Serve punch with remaining bottles of rum on the side (for those drunkards who want to fortify their cups), as well as a bottle of soda water on the side (for those wusses who want to dilute their cups).
If you really want to serve a haymaker to your guests, add some Kalamansi-Infused Vodka to your Pacman Punch.
Pineapple juice, orange juice, kalamansi juice, and rum = knockout kumbinasyon
Besides Pacman Punch, consider the following Filipino foods to serve during the fight festivities: