Sujeonggwa (수정과) is a Korean drink, traditionally enjoyed on special occasions! It’s also a great digestive tonic after having a hearty meal. Lunar New Year is coming up at the end of this week, and I have this excellent punch recipe to share with you!
As I explained before, my mom wasn’t much of a Sikhye-maker, but she’d make this beautifully hued dark amber refreshment that always turned out amazing. There were many times I couldn’t believe something like this could be made with just a few ingredients; I wanted to learn how to make it myself. At first, I only took notice of her cutting some ginger, throwing in some cinnamon sticks, pouring in water, and leaving it alone on the stove to simmer. I thought it was some random amount of ingredients, but I found out later that she knew, instinctively, how much she was going to need for her brew.
After a few test runs, and referring back to my mom’s process, I made this recipe for you guys! I hope you enjoy it this New-Year weekend!
- 50g (about ½-cup) fresh Ginger
- 30g (about 4T) Cinnamon Sticks
- 2L (about 8½ cups) Water
- 32-48g (½-¾-cup) Turbinado Sugar
- 8 dried Persimmons, optional
- Pine Nuts, to taste
- Peel the ginger and place into a pot that is able to hold 2 liters of liquid.
- Rinse the cinnamon and add those to the pot.
- Pour in 2 liters of water, and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer for an hour, covered.
- Strain the mixture and put the liquid back onto the flame. Discard the ginger and cinnamon. Add the desired amount of sugar into the liquid and heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5-10 minutes.
- Cool the punch to room temperature, and place into the refrigerator until cold.
- If using fruit: remove the stems from the dried persimmons, and give them a quick rinse. Put the fruit into the punch about 2 hours before serving.
- Serve in shallow bowls with the fruit, and drop a few pine nuts to garnish.
- Chopping the ginger into smaller (about ½-inch) segments allows the root to thoroughly infuse in the water.
- I use the standard Cassia bark for this recipe; Ceylon cinnamon doesn't have that extra kick in spice that is needed for this punch.
- Turbinado is great for this recipe because it imparts a nice caramel-molasses flavor. Use regular granulated sugar if you don't have turbinado.
- The liquid is hot enough for the sugar to melt without it going onto the flame; I only put it back to simmer to make sure any impurities are removed.
- Begin by adding the minimum amount of sugar into the hot punch. Taste it to see if you need to add more sugar. Remember that the sweetness will diminish when the liquid is cold. With the addition of fruit, it can make the punch sweeter without you having to add the extra sugar. Use your discretion.
- To speed up the cooling process, place the pot in a basin of ice-cold water. This usually cuts the cooling time to half or less.
- I rinse the dried persimmons, though I don't scrub them. The white layer is a natural occurrence, often sugar from the fruit. The rinsing just gets rid of dust.
- It's best to keep the fruit separate from the punch, as it can cloud the liquid if the fruit sits too long. If you don't mind the punch turning cloudy, put the persimmons into the punch after cooling to room temperature. However, be warned that the fruit will soften (which is fine, and preferred, if it's soft enough to eat), and become overly soft the longer it stays submerged.
- Sometimes the persimmons are sliced in half to make it easier to eat. Serve the punch with a small spoon if you're choosing to add fruit.
**Here are some of the ingredients I use for this recipe. Please, feel free to browse and ask questions on anything you see listed below.**