I’m pretty sure that this punch is popular year round in Korea, but the first thing I thought of when I took a sip was the winter holiday season and mulled wine drinks. But this drink differs from its European counterparts because there’s not as much alcohol, although you can always add more, and it’s typically served cold
I always thought I had a major sweet tooth but I’ve been finding lately that there are plenty of people out there who like things much much sweeter than I do. I already cut the sugar in half from the original recipe but found that even that was a bit sweet for my taste. So start of with a little less sugar- it’s easy enough to add more if you feel it needs it.
This was a big hit around here. Again, persimmon punch is typically served cold but I also thought it was great when it was still warm… I kept sneaking a spoonful or two while it was cooling. The yang and warmth of the cinnamon and ginger would be great on a cold fall or winter night.
* 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 cinnamon sticks
* 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/2 cup rice wine
* 4 dried persimmons
* 4 walnuts
* extra cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan, add the ginger and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the pieces of ginger and pour the liquid into a heatproof container. In the same saucepan bring the cinnamon sticks and 5 cups of water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks, reserving for garnish.
Pour the ginger-infused water into the cinnamon-infused water and add 1/2 cup sugar, honey, rice wine and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add sugar, if desired. Bring to a boil then removed from heat and cool to room temperature. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
About one hour prior to serving, de-stem the dried persimmon and cut out a small piece near the stem area and place a walnut in the center. Place the persimmons in the punch to soften. Serve with a cinnamon stick and softened persimmon, if desired.
Note: Dried persimmons can be found at Asian or Korean markets.
Adapted from Growing up in a Korean Kitchen: A Cookbook