I was thinking of offering a special occasion recipe for new year’s eve – but I gave plenty of festive recipes in the run up to Christmas, so I thought I would take a break! So here’s an easy exotic fruit punch instead.

Actually, winter is the ideal time to buy tropical fruit as there’s such little choice of native fruit in the market anyway. This Caribbean-style non-alcoholic drink will bring the taste of sunshine to the greyest of days, and will make designated drivers at your new year’s eve party feel special. If there’s any left over, it also has the advantage of being a healthy drink to kick-start your new year’s day.

Buy tropical fruits from ethnic greengrocers as they will be fresher and cheaper, and you will have more variety to choose from. Add lemon/ lime juice and sugar according to taste (it depends on the ratio of sweet and sour fruit you use).

If possible, buy artisanal lemonade (which is pale, milky yellow) and ginger ale, available from delicatessens. These are drinks produced by small companies that have less sickly-sweet, more home-style taste than the larger commercial brands. Serves around 10 to 15.

2 lb/ 1 kilo fresh tropical fruit – mixture of pineapple, mango, papaya, guava, kumkquat, mangosteen, star fruit, persimmon, lychee, banana etc (as many varieties as you like)
Pulp of 4 passion fruits
Juice of 6 ortaniques or oranges
1 large or 2 medium bottles lemonade, chilled
1 medium bottle ginger ale, chilled
Juice of lemons or limes, to taste
Lots of crushed ice
Caster sugar, to taste (optional – you’ll only need it if you’re using too much sour fruit)

1. Trim, peel, and slice or dice all the fruit fairly small. Set some aside for garnish (say, a few slices of star fruit, for instance).

2. Place all the ingredients in a large punch bowl and mix well. Pour into glasses and garnish with the reserved fruit.