Our friend, Junior Merino-The Liquid Chef, sent us a great family recipe for Ponche Navideno (Christmas Punch).
Junior puts a spin on this traditional Mexican punch served during the Holiday Season. Tradition calls for teyocotes, a regional, apple like fruit with a unique flavor and texture, raisins, sugar cane, Brandy or Rum, and other fruits and spices. As part of the Merino family tradition, this punch is usually rested overnight for optimum flavor then reheated and shared with the whole family.
Jumex Brand Juice, dried hibiscus flower, tamarind, guavas, sugar cane, and tejocotes can be bought in Mexican stores. Fresh fruit is available seasonally, however, tejocotes can be found “en conserva” in a syrup. Xtabentun can be found online.
Ponche Navideno a la Merino
1/2 a Granny Smith Apple, chopped
6 Cinnamon Sticks
4 cups of Water
4 cups of Jumex of Tamarind (or Jarrito de Tamarindo)
32 whole dry Hibiscus Flowers
16 whole Tamarind Pods, peeled
6 Mexican Guavas, quartered
20 All Spice
20 small Sugar Cane Sticks
1 Navel Orange Cut in small pieces
1/2 cup of raisins
8 whole Prunes
2 Mexican Vanilla Beans (from Papantla), cut in half length wise
6 fresh Tejocotes, cut into 8 pieces & seeded
2 cups of Brown Sugar
1/2 cup of Xtabentun (Mayan Anise-Honey Liqueur)
1 cup of Mezcal Joven or Reposado
4 cups of 100% Tequila Reposado or Anejo
Put all the ingredients except the liquor into a big pot. Then place the pot onto a medium fire. Stir occasionally and let it boil for about 4 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add the liquor. Serve while hot or for a cold version, let it cool and then add the liquor. Serve with no ice if desired.
See more of Junior’s great artisan cocktails here.