Mi Huerta Market
By Sarah Chovanetz
Delicious Mexican Christmas Punch
Christmas time is one of the most celebrated times of the year! The weather gets colder, festive decorations are up everywhere to put you in the holiday spirit, and families are gathering all over the world to cherish each other! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Speaking of families gathering around, no Christmas celebration would be complete without the traditional Mexican Ponche Navideno. It’s warm and got a bit of kick to it. It’s filled with a delicious aroma of cinnamon, fresh fruit and tastes just like the holiday itself. Ponche is typically served within Mexican households on Christmas Eve. It’s considered a traditional Christmas punch and is kept nice and warm throughout the evening for family and guests. Ponche is absolutely delicious and warms the heart. You can definitely add alcohol to it of course, just be careful that the kids don’t get any! Or make two separate batches in two different colored pots so no one makes any silly mistakes. This recipe is using our very own hand made Mi Huerta Piloncillo. Please have fun with this and if you want to change out the fruit with something else feel free to do so! Make it your own and keep it a secret family recipe!
Piloncillo is basically a dark brown sugar that gives the punch a sweet taste and makes it the perfect holiday drink. Our Piloncillo comes in a cone wrapped in thin plastic. You will want to grab the thick end of the cone and slice it with a knife. It’ll require SOME force on your end but it should work. It won’t be too hard, and remember if you own piloncillo that isn’t ours (tisk tisk) and it’s really hard to cut, you should throw it out and grab some of ours because it should always be slightly tough but definitely able to cut into and cook with. You could also try scraping our Mi Huerta Piloncillo along a box grater. I would say those two are the best ways to break down the cone. Do not put the cone into a food processor because it may break the machine and we don’t want that to happen because it’d be one more thing to add on to your Christmas list!
2 1/2 to 3 quarts water* (see note)
2 cinnamon sticks, about 6 inches long
8 ounces tejocotes, left whole
6 guavas, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 mild-flavored apples (not Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
2 four-inch pieces of sugar cane, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup pitted prunes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup dark raisins
5 long tamarind pods, peeled and seeded, or three tablespoons of tamarind pulp without seeds
6 to 8 ounces Mi Huerta Piloncillo (this equals about one average cone)
Rum, brandy or tequila (optional)
- You will want to bring water and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a large pot. Add the tejocotes and lower the flame. Cook over a slow, rolling boil until the tejocotes are soft. So basically do this for about five minutes.
- Next, remove the fruit from the pot, let cool and then peel the skin off with your fingers. (It should come off easily.) Cut the tejocotes in half, and remove and discard the seeds-DON’T FORGET TO REMOVE THE SEEDS!
- Once they’ve been peeled and de-seeded, place the tejocotes back into your pot of cinnamon-water and add the remaining Ponche ingredients. Stir to combine and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. If you’re adding alcohol, pour it into the pot right before serving time.
- To serve the Ponche, remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle directly into mugs, making sure to include the chunks of cooked fruit. The strips of sugar cane can be served directly into the cup, to suck on after you’re finished drinking.
Enjoy this delightful drink with your loved ones by the fire and remember to always drink responsibly. Happy Holidays from Mi Huerta!