Christmas in Mexico is filled with all sorts of yummy treats. Everything from Buñuelos to Tamales to Ponche Navideño.
Ahhh...Ponche Navideño! Christmas wouldn't be complete without it. I can't recall a Christmas that Ponche Navideño wasn't served. (Both in Mexico and the States.)
But I have a confession to make. As much as I love to drink Ponche Navideño, I've never actually made it. This was my first time and it was delicious! My hubby couldn't believe that I had never made Ponche before.
Ponche Navideño is a hot beverage, laden with fruits, served during the holidays.
The base of the Ponche can be either Jamaica or Tamarindo. But the color of the Ponche made with Jamaica is so festive and very fitting for the holiday season.
More important than the base of the Ponche are the fruits. A must for any Ponche are tejocotes. If you're in Mexico, you will have no problem finding them. Unfortunately for those not in Mexico, you might not be able to find them. Look online or use crabapples or the smallest apples you can find!
Another ingredient is sugarcane. It's been awhile since I've been to the States, so I don't know if sugarcane is even available. I'm lucky because we have a vendor, just around the corner, that sells bags of cañas (sugarcane) already peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks.
But don't let these hard to find ingredients stop you from trying this delicious beverage. As with most recipes, use what you like and try to incorporate what is in season. (I'm thinking Cranberries!)
Ponche Navideño de Jamaica
- 1 cup dried Jamaica flowers
- 3-1/2 quarts water (14 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks (3-inches in length)
- 6 ounces tejocotes
- 6 ounces sugarcane (cut in 1-inch chunks)
- 6 ounces pitted prunes
- 6 ounces pecan halves
- 6 ounces guava (quartered)
- 6 ounces apple (cut in 1-inch cubes)
- 4 cups apple, finely chopped
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (I love pecans, so I used 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup chopped celery (optional)