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Author Notes: Ponche Navideño is *the* traditional Mexican Christmas punch. Made with a big variety of fruits and seasonings, its taste is robustly spicy and seductively sweet. Created without alcohol, it's often served with a *piquete*--a little 'sting' of your favorite liquor. Rum, tequila, and brandy are the three most-used. Most ingredients are easily available outside Mexico, and a Latin-focused market is the best place to shop for certain items: sugar cane should be simple to find, but if you can't find *tejocotes*, substitute peeled apples. —MexicoCooks!
Serves 10 to 15
- 8-10 quarts water
- 8 to 10 tejocotes OR 3 peeled Granny Smith apples, cut into chunks
- 6 guavas, halved
- 2 pounds sugar cane, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 1/2 pound prunes without pits
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 oranges, sliced in thin rounds
- 1/4 pound seedless raisins
- 2 quarts hot water (separate use for tejocotes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 2 Mexican cinnamon sticks
- 2 pounds piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar cones)
- 2 quarts water, separate use for tejocotes
- If you are using tejocotes, soak them for about an hour in hot water. Drain. Peel them and cut them in quarters, removing the seeds. If you are not using tejocotes, ignore this step.
- In a large pot, bring 8 to 10 quarts of water to a full rolling boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Add all ingredients. Simmer for approximately 1.5 hours. Serve with plenty of fruit in each mug. Add a shot of rum, tequila, or brandy to each serving, if desired.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Punch
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