Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ponche Navideño (Christmas Punch)

In my usual weekly blog crawl, I came across a recipe from girlichef that I had to make for my parents' international Christmas Eve dinner: Ponche Navideño, a Mexican Christmas punch made with fruits and spices. It sounded perfect. So I jotted down the ingredients and headed over to our local Mexican market, prepared to go on a ponche scavenger hunt through the aisles. No need. As soon as I walked into the produce section, there was an entire display with all of the ingredients I had on my list...and then some. There was even a printed recipe for ponche - written in Spanish! - that would have been helpful if I actually read Spanish. I stood there for a bit, comparing girlichef's recipe with what I could make out on the market recipe. Then I picked and chose and came up with my own combination. I skipped the prunes and halved the sugar but added quince and dried hibiscus blossoms. Here goes...

12 tejocotes (hawthorne apples)
6 guayabas (guavas)
6 tamarindo pods (tamarind)
3 large sticks canela (Mexican cinnamon)
2 naranjas (oranges, though I used clementines)
2 manzanas (apples)
1 piloncillo (unrefined sugar cone)
1/2 C dried hibiscus blossoms
3 1/2 quarts cold water

I simply halved the fruits though some people cut them into bite-sized pieces. Then I placed all of the ingredients into a large soup pot and brought it to a boil. I reduced the heat and simmered for 30 minutes. It was very disconcerting to have all of these natural ingredients in a pot and, yet, my kitchen smelled like a piece of red hot candy.

To serve, I had Jake trim and make swizzle sticks out of some sugar cane rods. Ladle ponche into mugs and drop in a sugar cane swizzle stick. For adults, top with a floater of rum if you'd like!

Thanks for the inspiration, girlichef. Cheers and Feliz Navidad.

1 comment:

  1. Feliz Navidad and Salud! I'm so excited that you tried this...doesn't the smell just scream Christmas!? =)
    ~Heather @girlichef


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