While most of you are welcoming spring arrival, I am enjoying the cooled down weather and autumn’s seasonal fruit. (It feels like I’m going against the crowd! I feel left out. Haha) Today I’m introducing SuJeongGwa (수정과, Korean Cinnamon Punch), which I am sure you heard of before. I intended to make this on Lunar New Years Day as a dessert drink, like a month ago! My busyness got carried on with other food and I didn’t get to make it then.
Sujeonggwa is a popular traditional dessert drink along with Sikhye (Sweet rice drink). It’s particularly consumed during the festive holiday’s such as New Years Day and Korean Moon Festival (Chuseok, also known as Korean Thanksgiving Day). It is known to help digestion and maybe that’s why it’s often served after having Korean BBQ at a restaurant.
Sujeonggwa can be drunk hot or cold, but I personally think cold is the way to go! It has a dark brown colour, though, as I added raw sugar instead of brown sugar, mine doesn’t look as dark as it could. The drink is sweet and the combined aroma from ginger and cinnamon sticks gives a warm feeling even though I am drinking it icy cold!
Why not try this recipe for a festive Easter holiday next week? Or you can save it until your next autumn or New Years Day, which is another a year away. Happy cooking! xo
Ingredients for 20 servings (It will give about 5.25L of punch, which can be stored in a bottle in a fridge for a couple of days)
(Prep time: 5 mins, Cooking time: 1 hour)
- 70g cinnamon sticks
- 100g fresh ginger
- 2 ½ cup sugar (I used raw sugar, however brown sugar is commonly used)
- 22 cup water
- Pine nuts (optional)
- Dried chinese dates (optional)
- Dried persimmon (optional)
Steps (Numbers in the picture below don’t coincide with the written steps.)
- Clean and peel the ginger. Then thinly slice it. Put it into a large sauce pan. Add 11 cups of water, close the lid, then boil it on medium heat for 40 mins.
- Rinse the cinnamon sticks in cold water. Put them into a separate large sauce pan. Add 11 cups of water, close the lid, then boil it on medium heat for 40 mins.
- After 40 mins, get ready another large sauce pan (it should be large enough to hold the combined boiled water from step 1 and 2). Drain the boiled ginger and cinnamon sticks in turn through the sieve. (Discard the ginger and cinnamon sticks).
- Add the sugar into the sauce pan (from step 3) and boil it for 10 to 20 mins further on high heat (or until the sugar dissolves completely).
- Cool down the punch for a couple of hours before you serve. (or you can express cool it in a sink by putting the plug in and filling it with cold water and lots of ice cubes and let the sauce pan sit in it for a half an hour or so.)
- When you think it’s cool enough, you can serve it and enjoy! (I garnished mine with pine nuts and dried chinese dates. Unfortunately I couldn’t find ANY dried persimmon here. If you are able to add the dried persimmon put them into the drink at least 1 hour before you drink it, so it softens and release the fruity flavour into the drink.)
Best way to enjoy Sujeonggwa (Korean Cinnamon Punch)
- Sujeonggwa tastes best when served cold and I think it tastes even better if it’s icy cold. So as you can see from the below picture, after “express” cooling down the sauce pan (from step 5), I lightly freeze some Sujeonggwa (about 6 cups worth) in the freezer for 4 to 5 hours. Ice should be only lightly formed. However if it is fairly firm, you can easily crush the ice a bit with a fork.
- While it’s optional, adding the optional ingredients (pine nuts, dried chinese dates and dried persimmon) when you serve the drink will definitely enhance the flavour and scent.