My husband is originally from Mexico and one treat I always looked forward to every Christmas during our visits was the Ponche Navideño ( Christmas Punch) his family made at their gatherings. I finally decided to try making it on my own a several years back and it’s my go to treat for friends and family during our gatherings ever since. I could honestly finish off an entire ola (pot) myself. The beauty of this belly warming beverage besides it amazing flavor and ability to calm you is just how easy it is to make. Oh and the aroma that will come from your kitchen is beyond amazing!
There are only a few months out of the year the main traditional fruit Tejocotes used in the ponche are available fresh. Visiting your local Mexican market is going to be the best place to find them. I don't add piquete (liquor) to my ponche but traditionally you can add a splash of Brandy or Rum to your cup or directly into the pot. TIP: By keeping the liquor separate, the entire family can enjoy.
This hot drink is perfect for chilly evenings from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year's Eve and is a traditional beverage made for Posada celebrations in Mexico as well. Here what you will need and the simple steps to make it.
Makes a large 5 quart pot :
2-3 Piloncillo Cones
2-3 Sticks of Cinnamon
2-large Oranges Halved
1/2 Pineapple Chunked
Dozen or more Tejocotes
You can also add apple, pears, fresh sugar cane or dried fruits if you like.
In a large Ola (pot) add all your fruits and cover with water. The fruit should be cut up into bite sized pieces so it can be enjoyed with the ponche upon serving. Simmer over low heat.
Add the cinnamon sticks and piloncillo, sampling along the way for sweetness and cinnamon level.
Remove cinnamon once desired flavor is attained so it doesn't start to break up.
Cook on low until the fruit is tender. Aprox 1-2 hours.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Tip. As you serve the ponche you can add more water as it will keep pulling the flavors from the fruit, you may want to add additional piloncillo to maintain the sweetness. Provecho!