Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mexican Punch

Hello everybody! Its been a long time since we did a post. We been working hard at the shop during this Holiday Season and other projects like school, catering and family but we are here to celebrate the season by sharing a recipe of one the most traditional and iconic Mexican drinks: Mexican Punch or Ponche.

This a a warm and inviting cocktail that we drink during the Holiday Season. A go to for Posadas with a delicious Tamal. Here's the recipe:

Adapted from Fany Gerson’s My Sweet Mexico
Makes about 3 1/2 quarts

Note: You shouldn’t feel wedded to any ponche recipe, as the ratios can be tweaked for your specific tastes. Fany’s version includes tamarind, raisins and prunes, but I found the original quantities to be a little too tangy, so I lessened them and added more water. In the future I may leave out the prunes all together.

If you don’t have piloncillo, you can substitute brown sugar. If you can’t find sugar cane, just leave it out.

The amount of water depends on how thick you like your ponche. Once the fruit starts to cook, the mixture will thicken — feel free to add more water to thin it out. Ponche also reheats beautifully on the stove, thinned with a little water. It will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for at least a week.

To cut piloncillo: Grab the thick end of cone and slice with a knife. It’ll require some force on your end, but it should work. (The piloncillo should not be so hard that you can’t cut it.) You could also try scraping it along a box grater. Don’t put the cone in the food processor, or it might break your machine.

  • 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 piloncillo or dark brown sugar (this equals about one average cone)
  • Rum, brandy or tequila (optional)

  1. 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, about five minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
image via: mija chronicles

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