This is another example of the Portuguese influences from the world being used for gastronomic purposes. Poncha made with Aguardente de Cana (distilled alcohol made from sugar cane juice), honey, sugar, lemon rind and with different fruit juices according to the version of Poncha, but traditionally lemon juice is used.
The use of sugar cane products (refined sugar and sugar cane rum) became a new world phenomenon after the Discovery of Brazil. The sugar cane rum replaced grape must brandy in spirits used for culinary purposes. Most importantly, the main ingredient in the confection of sweets and desserts became refined sugar instead of honey. They would last much longer and the recipes were much more versatile with sugar, because of its ability to produce the several candy stages.