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Linda 16-11-2003 04:07 PM

Ponche Navideno

Ponche Navideno
Hot Mexican Christmas Punch

All through Latin America people serve a special punch at midnight on
Christmas Eve. This is Agustin Gaytan's recipe for Mexican Ponche Navideno.
I was served ponche in Guatemala that contained dried plums, raisins, and
walnuts but not guavas or crab apples. If you would like to make this punch
but can't find some of the ingredients, use substitutes that are available.
For instance, tamarind pods are a primary flavor in this ponche. If you can'
t find tamarind pods, substitute apple cider. It won't be the same, but it
will still be flavorful.


* 2 gallons water
* 4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
* 4-inch cinnamon stick
* 2 lbs. piloncillo (if necessary, substitute brown or turbinado sugar)
* 3 green apples, cut into eighths
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 10 prunes
* 10 tamarind pods, peeled
* 6 preserved guavas
* 10 preserved manzanitas/tejocotes (wild apples or crab apples)
* rum or brandy to taste (optional)
* 1 3-gallon pot

In the pot mix all the ingredients together except liquour and bring to a
Reduce to low heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Serve hot with rum or
brandy to taste. Place a vanilla bean or a 4-inch cinnamon stick in each
mug or cup for people to stir the ponche.

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