Ponche Navideño

An essential element to the Mexican Christmas, I have fond memories as a child being entranced by the warm aromatic smells of this vibrant punch. A recipe to be played around with, some of these ingredients, albeit not traditional, are improvisational and just as delicious. 

Serves 12


4 quarts of water 

1 cone of piloncillo, or 8 oz of brown sugar

1/2 of a pineapple cut in large cubes

2 oranges cut in wedges 

12 tiny crab apples, I used crimson gold, but if you have access to tejocotes, by all means!

A handful of prunes

1/2 cup golden raisins

½ cup hibiscus blossoms, or tamarind

Note:  if you have tamarind, just use the tamarind, and not hibiscus blossoms. These two won’t fair well mixed together. 

A handful of mulling spices

6 peaches halved and peeled, I used some I had in syrup




In a large stock pot, heat up the water, piloncillo (or brown sugar), and cinnamon for 15 minutes.

Once fragrant, add the rest of your ingredients and simmer for at least 1 hour.  When ready to serve, do so hot and in mugs. Don’t hesitate to let the fruit make its way into your mug, and if you prefer a spiked rendition, add rum or mezcal to your liking.


A little bit on piloncillo:

Piloncillo is a raw, unprocessed form of pure cane sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Piloncillo’s memorable golden brown hue and rich flavor profile similar to molasses makes for a delectable addition to any recipe requiring a sweet element.