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!
10 to 15
8 to 10
tejocotes OR 3 peeled Granny Smith apples, cut into chunks
sugar cane, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
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.