Sometimes an ingredient will throw you for a loop. For us, this happened when we sampled the Peruvian summer drink made from purple corn. While the drink gets its colour from deep purple corn, the flavour is from pineapple steeped with aromatic spices.
The drink dates back to the time of the Incas. “It’s an aphrodisiac,” we are told, as we are handed the fruity drink. Then, and now, purple corn, which is packed full of nutrients, is considered a food with healing abilities and, yes, magical powers.
Pineapple slices, the fruit and skin, are steeped with cinnamon and cloves. The addition of the inky-purple corn instantly changes the brew into a wine-colored drink. The mixture simmers for an hour. As the spices fill the air, the drink starts to resemble a mulled wine. It’s ready, but we prefer to let the infusion sit overnight for a fuller flavour.
It’s a refreshing drink for a warm summer day. Serve it ice cold, mixed with wedges of fresh fruit, pineapple, apples, and lime or lemon, the way you would garnish sangria.
Purple Corn Drink
5 cobs purple corn
Medium pineapple, organic if possible
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tbsp. clove
6 cups of water
Thoroughly wash pineapple since you will be using the skin
Cut the pineapple lengthwise into slices with about an inch of fruit
Add pineapple slices, spices and corn to a pot and cover with water
Simmer for an hour
Let the mixture sit overnight and strain
Sweeten to taste and serve ice cold
Garnish with wedges of remaining fresh pineapple, apples and lemon or lime
You’ll find purple corn in Latin American and health food stores
Purple corn is said to have more powerful antioxidants than blueberries