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Ponche Navideno

  Ponche Navideño (Christmas Punch) is a traditional Mexican drink that is imbibed around Christmas and New Year’s Day.  In Mexico, it is often sold on the streets by vendors.  It’s a spicy mix of fruits and cinnamon that is a perfect winter-warmer for any holiday get-together – and oddly reminiscent of the best apple cider you’ve ever tasted.  Serve this and you are guaranteed to get a lot of questions from satisfied party-goers.

  First, meet the cast:

Some people add a few shelled tamarinds which give the punch a darker, richer color.

 

• 3 gallons of water

• 10 ounces of prunes

• 3 cinnamon sticks

• 4 sugar canes (I had to go to a Mexican market for these.  They really add a depth of flavor to the mix but if you can’t find them, boost the granulated amount up until it suits your tastes.)

• 7 guavas (I had never used these before.  They tasted sour – almost like a honeydew melon that wasn’t ripe.  Again, they came from the Mexican market.  I would substitute more oranges or maybe even clementines if guavas aren’t available.)

• 5 oranges

• 10 ounces of tejocotes (I wasn’t familiar with these, either but they had them.  They kind of reminded me of crabapples, except they didn’t taste as bitter.  I would guess any bitter, diced apple would make a good substitute. )

• 6 ounces of walnuts

• 2 pounds of sugar

• 1 quart of brandy (I won’t lie.  I added a lot more.)

  Wash all of the fruits.  Cut the sugar canes into sticks.  Cut the oranges and guavas into quarters.  Cut the stems off the tejocotes.  Bring everything to a boil together except for the granulated sugar and brandy.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour, preferably longer.  Ladle punch into mugs being sure to include a little bit of fruit, nuts and a sugar cane stick in each serving.  Serve piping-hot and watch out for seeds!

Bottoms up!

…and most importantly of all, HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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One response to “Ponche Navideno

  1. Fuzz

    Everybody seems to have their own Wassil, Glug, etc.

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