Ponche Mexicano Navideño

This Ponche Mexicano Navideño will melt your heart, whether you share it with your friends or family, its sweet aroma and fruity flavor can make those special moments with our loved ones warmer still.

Mexican ponche Navideño served on clay cups and some Christmas lights in the background.

Now that the days are getting colder, I can’t wait for punch season to come. Its aroma and sweet flavor bring us memories of our family and friends.

This is not simply a hot drink made of fruits, it is a heartwarming holiday tradition that provides us with sweet memories shared with those we love. 

If I was asked to name one aroma I associate with Christmas, I would have to reply it is one of a delicious ponche, simmering on the kitchen stove, wafting and filling every corner of the house.

Ponche Navideño served in a clay cup and some Christmas ornaments scattered around.

What is Ponche Mexicano?

Ponche Mexicano Navideño is a seasonal hot beverage enjoyed during December, especially for Noche Buena (Christmas eve).

Its main ingredients are sugarcane (caña), guayaba, tejocote (Mexican hawthorn), piloncillo, prunes, tamarind pods, apples, and cinnamon.

In Mexico, ponche is a traditional posadas drink. Posadas are parties that take place nine days before Christmas.

Families and friends gather to sing songs celebrating the birth of Christ, followed by the breaking of a piñata and partaking of punch.

Although this hot beverage is traditional to Las Posadas, it can also be enjoyed during cold days when seasonal and typical fruits are available. 

Ponche Mexicano (aka Mexican Christmas punch) served on clay cups and seen from above.

Sharing it with the family is always a pleasure, you don’t have to celebrate posadas to relish this delicious drink.

The Origin

Punch is a hot beverage that came from India, its name páñca means “five” referring to the 5 original ingredients: water, sugar, alcohol, tea, and lemon.

After the conquest of Mexico, the punch beverage, which had been introduced by the Spanish, was adapted to Mexican customs.

Some ingredients were substituted, such as alcohol and lemon, and some tropical and local fruits were added, giving birth to ponche Mexicano.

Related article: History Of Punch

Ingredients And Substitutions

Apples and prunes are the easiest fresh fruits to find, but Traditional ponche Mexicano requires also some tropical fruits that can be difficult to find in other countries.

So take a look at the list below to know how to replace those fruits to make this recipe and still get the classic Mexican punch flavor.

  • Sugar Cane (caña): Whilst munching the sugar cane is one of the charms of having ponche navideño. It can be one of the hardest ingredients to find, if you can’t get it, skipping it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Piloncillo: It gives a particular flavor, however, you can also use brown sugar and molasses to achieve a similar taste.
  • Guava: One of my favorite fruits and although I feel that nothing can replace it, the truth is that prunes or peaches may be good options if you can’t find fresh guavas (guayabas). If you can find store-bought guava juice at your local supermarket, you’re lucky because this is also a nice substitute.
  • Tejocote: Know as Mexican Hawthorn fruit, it has a similar texture as crabapples, making them a good substitute.
  • Tamarind pods: Using hibiscus flowers (jamaica) instead of tamarind pods is an option. Although some people like to add both, if you only have one of the ingredients, it should be enough. For flavor, you can add tamarind and/or jamaica concentrate too.
  • Spices: You will only need cinnamon sticks for this easy recipe, but feel free to add other spices such as anis star and whole cloves.
Ingredients for Mexican ponche displayed on a colorful tablecloth.

You can also buy a jar of Ponche Navideño en almíbar, which is basically the traditional fruits in syrup, a perfect choice to achieve the particular flavor and aroma of this Mexican recipe.

Those jars are widely sold in Amazon and Latin American stores.

A jar of Ponche Navideño Mexicano.

So, gather all your ingredients, choose the winter fruits you’d like to add, and make this delicious, hot ponche.

The recipe is simple, easy, and a perfect idea to surprise your family and guests in the Christmas season.

How To Make Ponche

In a large stockpot add piloncillo, cinnamon, and hibiscus flowers. Pour in about 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil.

Stir from time to time to allow piloncillo to dissolve.

The ponche mixture in a pot.

Once the water starts to boil, set the heat to medium and add the fresh fruits. I used various types of apples and fresh prunes.

Fresh fruits chunks added to the pot to make ponche navideño.

Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Add the jar of Mexican punch fruit to the pot, then simmer for another 15 minutes.

Adjust sugar to taste and serve hot.

Ponche Navideño fully cooked in a pot.

How To Serve

To serve, add some fruit to a cup, if you have Mexican clay mugs (jarritos) use those.

Fill mugs with the Mexican Christmas punch and serve. Don’t forget to place a spoon on each mug so your guests can also eat the chunks of fruit!

For a boozy drink, add a splash of rum, tequila, or brandy, mix and enjoy a ponche con piquete, as it’s called in Mexico.

Tamales are the perfect pairing for this Mexican fruit punch, so here are a few recipes you might want to try:

Recipe Notes

  • If you using Hawthorn fruit (tejocotes), make sure to add first those and allow them to cook for 5 minutes before adding the rest of your fruit.
  • You can add other seasonal fresh fruits, such as pears, kumquats, and even cranberries.
  • You can also add canned guavas. Those come in medium cans and are already cooked and packed in syrup, if you want to add some make sure to do about 4-5 minutes before turning off the heat.
  • Use a large pot to make this recipe, it would be easier for you to mix the fruits.
  • You can also use orange or lemon peel to give a citrus kick to this drink.

Make Ahead And Store

Want to serve this ponche Mexicano at a party? No problem! Make it one day ahead and store it in the fridge.

Reheat when need it or, for a practical serving, pour it into your Crockpot and reheat at low for one hour, this method is fantastic as the slow cooker can also keep the drink warm for hours.

For storing, make sure the drink is completely cooled down, then transfer to a glass pitcher and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Watch How To Make It

More Mexican Christmas recipes

Mexican ponche Navideño recipe.

Ponche Navideño

author Maricruz
Mexican Ponche Navideño is a hearty, delicious, and hot drink perfect for the holidays. Serve at your parties and enjoy this easy drink during those cold nights.
prep 10 minutes
cook 55 minutes
total 1 hour 5 minutes
serving 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 – 32 oz jar Mexican punch (read notes)
  • 1 lb fresh fruits cut into chunks (apples, pears, prunes.)
  • 9 oz piloncillo
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 8 cups water

Instructions
 

  • In a large stockpot add piloncillo, cinnamon, and hibiscus flowers.
  • Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Stir from time to time to allow piloncillo to dissolve.
  • Once the water starts to boil, set the heat to medium and add the fresh fruits.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes.
  • Add the jar of Mexican punch fruit to the pot, then simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Adjust sweet to taste and serve.

Notes

  • If you using Hawthorn fruit (tejocotes), make sure to add first those and allow them to cook for 5 minutes before adding the rest of your fruit.
  • You can add other seasonal fresh fruits, such as pears, kumquats, and even cranberries.
  • To add some flavor, pour in 2 cups of guava juice.
  • The jar of Mexican ponche is optional, but it can make a difference in this recipe. However, if you really can’t find it, then make sure you use more fresh fruits.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1mug | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had this punch so many times while I lived there, but I had no clue what was in it! I am so making this punch for the holidays! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Exploring other country’s food is like exploring culture! I will surely try this with my family. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I love trying new recipes. I’m planning on making this for my small gathering before the holidays. I can’t wait to taste it and now I have to find the ingredients and I know just where to go!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the perfect cozy holiday drink! I just loved how the cinnamon and hibiscus paired together, and it was super simple to prepare. Perfect for the holiday season!