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.
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.