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Mexican winter ponche (split from California board)

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Here's a recipe for typical Mexican winter ponche (punch), served hot and with a piquete (shot of brandy, rum, tequila, charanda (grain alcohol), or rompope (Mexican eggnog):

Ponche (Christmas Punch)

1 gallon water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 pound piloncillo or dark brown sugar
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 pound of peeled sugar cane, peeled and cut into 1/4" julienne
2 large apples, cored and chopped coarsely
2 pears, cored and chopped coarsely
1/2 pound guavas, coarsely chopped
2 pounds tejocotes
1 orange, cut into quarters
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into rings and then into chunks
4 or 5 3" cinnamon sticks
4 or 5 whole cloves (push into orange piece)
2 star anise
20 jamaica flowers
zest cut from one orange

Heat a gallon of water in a large kettle. When hot, add white sugar and piloncillo. Stir until dissolved, and then bring it to a boil. Continue to boil until sugars are dissolved. Add fruits and spices. Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better; an hour or more is good. Toward the end of the simmering time add the orange zest.

Be sure to ladle a little fruit into each mug. Ask who wants a piquete (pee-KEH-teh). Makes about 1 1/2 gallons of punch.

Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

[Note: This thread was split from the California board at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/465500 -- The Chowhound Team]

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