There’s nothing better than indulging in some great hot Christmas cocktails during December – after all, it’s the time of year when it’s acceptable to be tipsy for most of the day. And in Mexico, one must-drink tipple is Ponche Navideño Mexicano – also known as Mexican Christmas Punch. We’ve sought the expertise of Mely Martinez from Mexico In my Kitchen to get a recipe that is sure to get you into the festive spirit.
“Christmas time in Mexico is a time to prepare the traditional Ponche Navideño/Christmas Punch. At family gatherings some will have a large pot simmering on top of the stove with the sweet liquid full of fruits, while the cinnamon and citric fruit aromas float in the air. The Ponche Navideño is another essential part of Christmas in Mexico. The recipe calls for some traditional ingredients like cinnamon, tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks, seasonal fruits include guavas, apples, pears, oranges and dry fruits, too. The punch can be found with different added fruits depending of the region in Mexico. You can find punch with acid fruits like oranges, Mexican sweet lime or pineapple. And as far as spices go, besides cinnamon, some cooks will also add anise star and chamomile. This is the good part about this drink, that you can add the fruits you have available and it will still come out fine.”
- 4 quarts of water (1 gallon)
- 1 large piloncillo cone (12 oz) or brown sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 lb Tejocotes*
- 1 1/2 Lb. guavas (about 12 guavas)
- 1 1/2 cup apples, chopped
- 1 cup pear, chopped
- 3/4 cup prunes, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3 sugar cane sticks about 5 inch long, cut into four pieces each.
- 1 cup of Tamarind pods, peeled (or 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers)***
- Rum to taste
1. Place water in a large stockpot.
To read more of Mely’s recipes, check out her blog here