Christmas is going to be here in 5 days, and probably everybody have a menu for Christmas day. I haven’t decided one yet. I and my kids are sick with a bad cough, fever and headache. My son is taking antibiotics and my daughter is taking prescription strength medication for her cough, and I am on antibiotics too for bronchitis. According to Indian folk medicine that I know some homemade drinks could help in reducing its effect of common cold. So when I saw this Ponche Navideño – Mexican Christmas fruit punch recipe in a book My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson borrowed from library I got excited and decide to give it try, as it has cinnamon and cloves in it.
Like any other traditional recipe, it requires few ingredients must, like tejocotes (Crataegus Mexicana) is a species of hawthorn and other names are manzanita, tejocotera and Mexican hawthorn. I found them in Fiesta store; and it was for $ 6.49 a pound, so bought only 12 of them.
Then you need guava, my hubby loves guava so when I am buying it he was happy.
Then there is fresh sugarcane, I bought a large sugarcane stick at the store also. I made fresh sugarcane juice with 90 percent of the stick and with rest I made this hot ponche. I also used Mexican cinnamon and Mexican brown sugar Piloncillo, (which taste similar to our Indian jaggery). I also used fruits like apple, pear and orange, along with dried fruits raisins and prunes. In the recipe for the tanginess you can add either tamarind or hibiscus flower. I had bought some fresh tamarind pod for making margarita some time ago.
I think you need to let it few hours infuse the flavor may be overnight. When we tasted just after boiling everything with fruits and spices, it was delicious only with touch of alcohol. But on second day it taste really delicious without any booze. Indian friends will be reminded of the taste of panagam with slight tangy taste. If you are adventurous, just like me, try it. You don’t need to worry much about the recipe, just fruits and spices boiled together with some brown sugar.
This traditional drink served in Mexican homes during Christmas time as well as New Year eve. Here comes the recipe. You can serve as hot or cold. I like it hot though.