Christmas in Mexico is all about family, food, and friends. "Ponche" or punch is a drink made specifically this time of year, much like Glögg in the Nordic countries. This recipe is delicious and very easy to follow. Many of these ingredients can be found at your local Mexican grocery stores and farmers markets.
Traditional Mexican Ponche Recipe:
1 lb. Guayabas (Guavas)
1 lb. Tejocotes (Hawthorns)
8 oz prunes
8 oz dry apricots
5 Apples (Golden Delicious add a nice flavor, but any apple works)
3 Pears (Bosc pears blend very well with this recipe).
1 stalk of sugar cane, peeled and cut half an into 3 in. pieces
8 oz peeled Tamarind
3 Cinnamon sticks
3/4 lb. caster sugar (More can be added until desired sweetness)
6 oz of Hibiscus leaves
1.5 cup of grenadine
1 small bunch of dried chamomile
Peel of one orange and it’s juice.
2 gallons of water. (More can be added as liquid evaporates.)
Wash and disinfect all the fruit and cut to a medium dice. Hawthrons can be sliced in half. Remember to take the core off the apple. It is not necessary to peel any fruit. Remove husk from the tamarind.
In a large pot, heat the water, and add the sugar and the cinnamon. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the tejocotes (hawthorns) and the sugar cane.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the fruits, hibiscus, orange peel with juice, and chamomile. Finally, add the grenadine.
Bring to a simmer, and cook covered for 1.5 hours. It is important that heat is medium to low, since we don’t want the fruit to fall apart.
Sweetness can be adjusted through cooking process.
*A splash of rum is something that can always be added to individual servings. Enjoy!