During this time of year all across México we drink Ponche Navideño, a sweet drink made with a mix of seasonal fruits, cinnamon and piloncillo. Today I’m sharing the family recipe, you can play around and tweak it according to your preferences or the availability of the ingredients.
Preparation Time 30 min
Cook Time 1 hr. 00 min
5-6 quarts water
2 ounces hibiscus flower
10 tamarind pods
2 cinnamon sticks
3 ounces raisins
5 ounces dried plum
10 ounces crabapple (tejocotes) peeled and cored
1 pound guavas
2 Golden delicious apples
3 (4-inch) pieces sugarcane
10 ounces piloncillo (substitute brown sugar)
6 oz. walnuts, coarsely choppedRum, brandy or tequila to taste
In a medium pot bring one quart of water to a boil add the tamarind pods, let simmer for 5 minutes, add the hibiscus flower and let simmer 1 minute, turn off the heat and strain. Reserve the tamarind and hibiscus juice.
Prepare the fruits: cut the plums in half, cut the guavas into quarters, peel the sugarcane and cut in strips. In a medium pot bring one quart of water to a boil add the crabapple and let boil for 3 minutes, remove from the heat and discard the water, let them cool of a bit and remove the skin here you have two choices, cut them into quarters and get rid of the seeds or leave them whole. Peel the apples, remove the core and cut into chunks.
In a large pot bring the remaining water to a boil, lower the heat and add the piloncillo, the cinnamon sticks and let simmer for 30 minutes, at this point the whole house will be embrace by the sweet aroma that comes from the kitchen.
Next add the sugar cane, prunes, raisins and the juice from the tamarind and hibiscus flower. Stir to combine the ingredients and let simmer 10 minutes. Lastly add the crabapples, guavas and apples and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes, it really depends on how soft you want the fruit to be and how thick you like the ponche, feel free to add more water or brown sugar to correct the flavor. Turn off the heat and serve.
In mug put chunks of the fruit and add the liquor of your choice, ladle the hot ponche and garnish with chopped walnuts.
Let’s celebrate our traditions by serving this holiday beverage at posadas or give it as a Christmas present, thank you Pinterest for this great idea: