Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche

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The colder weather and the holidays call for a traditional Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche, our favorite winter hot beverage of the season.

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Mexican Christmas Punch with Mexican hawthorns and seasonal fruits

But what is Mexican Ponche?

Ponche is a winter Mexican hot beverage typically enjoyed during Christmas and Las Posadas. The classic Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch has seasonal fruits, fresh tamarind pods, hibiscus flowers, cinnamon sticks, piloncillo, and prunes.

a wooden plate with seasonal fruits

In Mexico, this Mexican Christmas Punch includes fruits like fresh tejocote, a fruit known as Mexican hawthorn that has a sweet and tart flavor and is very common during this time of the year. Another common ingredient is fresh sugarcane and guavas. However, the Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche recipe can use any seasonal fruit in your area.

chopped ingredients for making ponche winter a hot beverage

For example, use quince if tejocotes are not available in your market. Not quite the same, but both have the same tart-sweet flavor needed for this winter hot beverage recipe. Fresh cranberries could be a suitable replacement for hibiscus flowers too. Stone fruit such as plums could work well if tamarind is hard to find.

a collage with images showing the cooking of a Mexican Christmas Punch

Piloncillo is a staple in many Mexican hot beverages, and a suitable replacement is turbinado or brown sugar. Look for any of those options for an authentic Mexican ponche flavor. You’ll love it on a cold night too!

Food is very personal; don’t stress if you cannot find certain ingredients. It is possible to skip or replace with others, and the results will still be fantastic since this winter hot beverage recipe is simple to make.

Mexican ponche with whiskey a delicious winter hot beverage

The Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche is an excellent drink for gatherings.

The Mexican Ponche is an excellent hot drink for parties. You can make a big pot, and everyone can enjoy it since it is a family-friendly beverage. However, in Mexico, it is common for adults to add some “piquete” to their ponche.

But whiskey is the perfect addition to this Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche. I choose a smooth whiskey with vanilla and maple notes—that kind of liquor pairs well with the flavors. But spiced rum or brandy are the classic pairings with various Mexican hot beverages.

Meet The Party Pot from Tuxton Home! 

It is an Extra Large Pot perfect for family gatherings, and one-pot meals, so you can focus on making memories this holiday season. Perfect for making the Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch too. This pot has a 9.8 qt capacity, includes a glass lid with a portal, one portal stopper, and a steamer strainer. It boils, crisps, bakes, braises, roasts, steams, stores, serves, steeps, and pours. Shop for yours at www.TuxtonHome.com.
Meet The Party Pot from Tuxton Home an extra large pot for cooking everything as well as Mexican hot beverages

The Party Pot from Tuxton Home is the best pot for making ponche, stews and so many other dishes. The company gifted us one to test, and we can tell it is fantastic! We love the port as it allows us to use the sous vide, the immersion blender, and add spices or liquid without lifting the lid.

a collage showing how to make the Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch a delicious winter hot beverage

Smooth and comforting Mexican Christmas punch for the holidays!

Mexican hot beverages are favorite among many, including this Mexican ponche. Include it at your holiday party or offer it in Las Posadas. Serve the Christmas punch with a splash of brandy, rum, or whiskey for the adults. Just remember to enjoy with moderation and don’t drink and drive.

serving the Mexican holiday fruit punch with a ladle

Mexican Ponche historical background.

I was surprised to find out that the Indian hot beverage “pãc” inspired the original recipe from Spain to Mexico.

The Indian recipe combines sugar, water, citrus, and tea. Spaniards used this as a base and created “ponche” using winter seasonal fruits.

two jarritos served with homemade Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch

The Mexican Christmas punch is adapted to use local ingredients. It was a common practice by the nuns who adapted many traditional Spaniard dishes with ingredients found in the new world.

That is why this traditional holiday drink includes guavas, Mexican hawthorn, hibiscus, fresh tamarind pods, and piloncillo.

The Mexican Christmas Punch can be alcoholic and non alcoholic

Tips on how to prepare the best Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche.

  • Making the Mexican Christmas punch is simple. Just follow the below tips and recommendations for the best results.
  • Choose sweet and tart apples. We like Pink Ladies as those are firm and preserve the bite even after cooking them. You can opt for adding crab or gala apples (remove the seeds and the core), Bosc pears, plums, green apples, or quince.
  • Since we cannot find fresh tejocotes in our market, we opted for candied tejocote. The Mexican hawthorn fruit is compact, so even canned works as it doesn’t come apart while cooking it.
  • Clean, core, and cut the fruit into medium size pieces. Do not chop nor remove the pits and skins. Break the cinnamon sticks before adding them to the mix. Did you know the inner cinnamon layers are more flavorful than the outer bark?
  • Use a large pot. We like the party pot from Tuxton Home. It is large enough (9.8 qt), has a glass lid with a cooking portal that allows adding ingredients without taking off the top. Perfect for making Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche.
  • Drop all ingredients inside the pot. Add enough water to cover the fruit and then so more. Cook the Mexican ponche for 15 minutes at medium heat or until the piloncillo melts and the mix reaches the first rolling boil. Keep it covered with the lid.
  • Try not to overcook the fruits. Mushy fruit is not palatable, and the drink requires different textures. Having a variety of firm and soft fruits is the way to go.
  • Choose other ingredients if you cannot find the suggested list. For example, replace hibiscus flowers with fresh cranberries. Instead of prunes, use other dried fruits, such as raisins, figs, or dates.
  • Opt for citrus of your choice. We like orange because it is the classic ingredient, and it provides a tasty floral note, but orange juice works well.
  • Add one part of apple cider juice for a more robust apple flavor. Or pineapple rinds or juice for a tropical note.
  • Use large cups or opt for classic clay jarritos for serving this delicious Mexican Christmas Punch. Clay has the property of keeping Mexican hot beverages warm. Add a spoon as your guests enjoy eating the fruit while sipping the warm ponche.
Mexican Christmas Punch or Ponche Navideno for Las Posadas
Mexican Ponche drink for the holidays

Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche

Chef Adriana Martin
The colder weather and the holidays call for a traditional Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche, our favorite winter hot beverage of the season.
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Hot Beverage, Cocktails, Beverages
Cuisine Mexican Cuisine
Servings 10 cups
Calories 134 kcal

Equipment

  • 9.8-Quart Triple Clad Extra Large Pot
  • Ladle
  • Chopping block
  • Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 2 apples pink lady, cored, seedless, and cut
  • 1 apple red delicious cored, seedless, and cut
  • 2 large oranges valencia or cara cara
  • 8 guavas cut or sliced
  • 2 cups Mexican Hawthorne use canned if fresh not available
  • 4 tamarind pods stemmed and peeled
  • 8 prunes
  • 2 tablespoons hibiscus flowers dried
  • 6 pieces sugarcane cut into segments
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cones piloncillo or 2 cups of turbinado sugar
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup orange juice optional
  • 1 cup apple cider juice optional

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredients of the list to a large pot.  
  • Pour the juices and the water and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. 
  • Serve hot, including scoops of the actual fruit into the cups

Video

Notes

  • The experience of this drink is to have it hot and eat the cooked fruit while enjoying the ponche. The fruit doesn’t have to be peeled.
  • Choose sweet and tart apples. We like Pink Ladies as those are firm and preserve the bite even after cooking them. You can opt for adding crab or gala apples (remove the seeds and the core), Bosc pears, plums, green apples, or quince.
  • Since we cannot find fresh tejocotes in our market, we opted for candied tejocote. The Mexican hawthorn fruit is compact, so even canned works as it doesn’t come apart while cooking it.
  • Clean, core, and cut the fruit into medium size pieces. Do not chop nor remove the pits and skins.
  • Break the cinnamon sticks before adding them to the mix. 
  • Use a large pot. We like the party pot from Tuxton Home. It is large enough (9.8 qt), has a glass lid with a cooking portal that allows adding ingredients without taking off the cover. Perfect for making Mexican Holiday Fruit Punch or Ponche.
  • Drop all ingredients inside the pot. Add enough water to cover the fruit and then so more.
  • Cook the Mexican ponche for 15 minutes at medium heat or until the piloncillo melts and the mix reaches the first rolling boil. Keep it covered with the lid.
  • Try not to overcook the fruits. Mushy fruit is not palatable, and the drink requires different textures. Having a variety of firm and soft fruits is the way to go.
  • Choose other ingredients. For example, replace hibiscus flowers with fresh cranberries. Instead of prunes, use other dried fruits, such as figs or dates.
  • Opt for citrus of your choice. We like orange because it is the classic ingredient, and it provides a tasty floral note, but orange juice works well.
  • Add one part of apple cider juice for a more robust apple flavor. Or pineapple rinds or juice for a tropical note.

Nutrition

Serving: 12ouncesCalories: 134kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 15mgPotassium: 530mgFiber: 7gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 636IUVitamin C: 185mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cocktails, holidays, ponche
Tried this recipe?Mention @adrianasbestrecipes or tag #abrecipes on Instagram
Collage with the Mexican Christmas Punch served in jarritos and tall coffee cups

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silvia

5 stars
Ponche is my favorite drink of the holiday season, I have not tried with oranges yet, but i like the idea of adding some cara cara.

Jacqueline Debono

5 stars
I served this holiday punch as an aperitive on Christmas Eve. Although I couldn’t find all the fruit in your list (Mexican hawthrorn) and I used canned guavas it was delicious and everybody loved it! So Christmassy!

Jessica

5 stars
I prepared this last night for a holiday event I’m hosting this evening. I tried a glass and was very impressed. So much flavor AND it was so easy.

Amanda Mason

5 stars
Not only did this taste amazing but my house smelled WONDERFUL while it was on the stovetop!! Great recipe – everyone enjoyed it!!

Tammy

5 stars
Oh my gosh this sounds so lovely! I’ve never had Mexican hawthorn but I’d love to give it a try. Beautiful drink for the holidays.

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