Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Mexican Punch (Ponche Navideño) recipe

It is the time of the year for a traditional Mexican recipe we all have been waiting for: Mexican Punch! (or Ponche Navideño). Even for people vacationing in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya, this is a great hot beverage to have during the Christmas holiday season. The whole process of making it is amazing, since your house will start smelling of Christmas from the very first minutes.

Mexican Punch
Mexican Punch is made of very Mexican fruits (such as tejocotes…ever heard of them?), so it is a bit challenging to find them outside of Mexico, but as the Mexican community enlarges everywhere in the world, it has become possible to find all the necessary ingredients. In Mexico, we drink it during our Mexican posadas (traditional Christmas parties), especially in cold weathers. I remember drinking it during Mexico City cold nights and it was heavenly. Now, in Playa del Carmen it is still a luxury to drink it with your friends during December. Do not miss out and try it out while on vacation in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya!

It wll be a success at your Christmas Party
How to prepare it:

In a medium saucepan, bring one quart of water to a boil. Add the tejocotes, lower the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until softened. Remove the fruit, peel and cut off the hard ends.

Prepare the fruits: Peel the sugar cane and cut it in sticks of 10 cm approximately. Peel the pears and cut into large chunks. Cut the guavas and prunes in half. Stud the oranges with the whole cloves. Cut the cone of piloncillo into large chunks.

In a larger pot, bring the remaining water to a boil. The trick is to add the harder fruits first and then the softer ones. Add the apples, the piloncillo, cinnamon stick and sugar canes. Leave them for ten minutes. Then, add the prunes, raisins and pears and tamarinds. After 5 minutes, the guavas and hibiscus flowers and simmer for another half hour.

When you serve it, you can add some rum to your delicious Mexican Punch (Ponche Navideño) and you will have even better vacations in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya

Ingredients (12 servings):
  • 4 quarts of water (1 gallon)
  • 1.5 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
  • 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers
  • 3 sugar cane sticks
  • 1 cup of peeled Tamarind pods
Mexican Punch