Mexican Ponche

Jump to RecipeEspañol

If you, like me, live outside Mexico, especially in the United States, and want to make Mexican Ponche for the holidays, this recipe is for you!

mexican ponche in a ceramic cup garnished with a cinnamon stick on a Christmas table

I've shared a recipe for ponche before, Mexican Christmas Ponche like we make it in Mexico, but by that was meant, if by chance, you had all the fresh ingredients straight from the produce market.

As you well know, it can be difficult to get fresh Mexican fruit for this festive beverage, most especially the seasonal fruits guayabas and tejocotes (and my mom says if you don’t have tejocotes, it’s not ponche mexicano!).

tecojotes (mexican hawthorne) on a cutting board
Tejocotes

So this recipe is adapted to give you the rich flavor of ponche with ingredients that you can find in the USA.

What is Ponche?

If you haven't had the pleasure of trying Mexican ponche (Mexican Christmas Fruit Punch) before, I will tell you a bit about it.

Ponche is an exquisite, fruity drink, warm and full of flavor. Generally, in Mexico, it’s prepared for the holiday season for events like Las Posadas (celebrations that go for 9 days before Christmas), Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and sometimes for Three Kings Day.

guavas, apples, tecojotes and tamarin chopped in a glass bowl

It’s not an alcoholic beverage like many believe, but you can add a touch of rum or brandy when you serve it if you wish. We call this “ponche con piquete.

This one today is adapted to be more user-friendly in the USA. Some ingredients like the guayabas (guavas) and tejocotes (Mexican Hawthorn) in syrup can be found in the Hispanic foods aisle at your supermarket.

Ponche mexicano con fruta en almibar

I found these in a Food 4 Less store, they also are commonly found in Food Max stores. Vallarta Markets or other markets that serve Latinos are good possibilities, too.

Guayabas y tejocotes en almibar

Look for the fresh tamarind pods in the Mexican spice section, generally they sell them in bulk.

And remember, if you live in a place where you can find fresh tejocotes and guavas, try my recipe for traditional Mexican Christmas Punch.

tamarind pots, cinnamon sticks, raisins and an apple on a cutting board

How to Store it?

Mexican ponche is delicious, hot or cold. If you have leftovers, transfer them to a pitcher or pot and place them in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

It's almost certain that you will end up with chunks of fruit at the bottom after you have drunk it all. I invite you to try my ponche fruit atole recipe to use them all up, and then serve it with tamales or pan dulce.

A ceramic cup with Mexican ponche and fruit on a red tablecloth

Mexican Ponche

This ponche recipe is especially for Christmas time and for those who live in the United States

Serves approx 28 delicious cups including fruit

Ingredients

  • 7 apples
  • 10 fresh tamarind pods
  • 20 tejocotes in syrup
  • 1 (800 gr / 1 lb 12 oz) can of guavas in syrup (also know as guayabas mexicanas)
  • 24 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar* or 2 piloncillo (coned-shaped, Mexican rock sugar)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup raisins (sometimes I use different types)
  • 1/2 cup tejocote syrup

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Measuring cups

Process

Core and chop the apples. Peel and seed the tamarind pods. Seed and cut in half the tecojotes in syrup and halve the guavas in syrup.

chopped guavas, apples and tejocotes

Pour water into the large stockpot and place on stove over high heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add the pieces of fruit and the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 30-40 minutes until the apples are cooked. Stir occasionally.

apples and cinnamon stick floating on water in a pot

*Please adjust sugar, if you like it sweeter add more.

You can serve it immediately, however, I like to let it rest for a few hours to let the flavors combine, or even make it a day ahead of time.

You can reheat it if you like, but it is also as tasty cool as it is hot.

Mexican ponche in a ceramic cup on top of a Christmas tablecloth

This Mexican ponche is a great way to start the Christmas season; I invite you to prepare a big pot and enjoy it at all your family gatherings. 

¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

Mexican ponche with fruit and cinnamon stick

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ponche con piquete?

Ponche con piquete is an expression used in Mexico for a cup of hot ponche navideño with a splash of your favorite liquor, usually brandy, tequila, or rum.

Does ponche have fresh sugar cane?

Yes, the traditional ponche recipe calls for fresh sugar cane but it's difficult to find in the USA unless you live in a place with large Mexican grocery stores. Sometimes, I've seen peeled sugar cane sticks in the frozen area in some supermarkets; if you see them, grab a bag to have it ready when it is time to make it. 

Can I add hibiscus flowers?

Yes, you can. This hot punch recipe calls for tamarind pods, which give the right level of acidity. Hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica) are delicious but also acidic, so my recommendation is to adjust the level of sugar, or use them instead of the tamarindo.

​Do I have to use dried fruit in the Mexican ponche?

I highly recommend it; the combination of fresh fruit with dried fruits creates a delicious flavor in this warm drink. The traditional dried fruits we use are raisins or prunes, however, some Mexican households add dried pineapple or dried apricots. Try different combinations to find your favorite. 

Is the ponche prepared only during the holiday season?

Yes, many of  its unique ingredients are usually found only during the Christmas season, which make this warm fruit punch generally only possible during this time of year.

That is why a lot of Mexican households start enjoying it during the 9-day celebration of Las Posadas, and if they are lucky all the way to Día de Reyes, which is in the first week of January. 

Print the Mexican Ponche Recipe

ponche mexicano con frutas en almibar para la navidad
5 from 15 votes

Mexican Ponche

This is a special recipe of Mexican Christmas punch for those who live in the United States or outside of Mexico and cannot find all the fresh fruits.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Servings: 28 cups
Calories: 139kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 apples
  • 10 fresh tamarind pods
  • 20 tejocotes in syrup
  • 1 800 gr / 1 lb 12 oz can of guavas in syrup (also know as guyabas mexicanas)
  • 24 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar (or 2 big piloncillos, a coned-shaped, Mexican rock sugar)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup raisins sometimes I use different types
  • 1/2 cup tejocote syrup

Instructions

  • Core and chop the apples. Peel and seed the tamarind pods. Seed and cut in half the tecojotes in syrup and halve the guavas in syrup.
  • Pour water into a very large stockpot and place on stove over high heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add the pieces of fruit and rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 30-40 minutes until the apples are cooked. Stir occasionally.
  • Please adjust the sugar. If you like it sweeter add more to taste.
  • You can serve it immediately, however, I like to let it rest for a few hours to let the flavors combine, or even make it a day ahead of time. You can reheat it if you like, but it is also as tasty cool as it is hot.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Ponche
Amount per Serving
Calories
139
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
23
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
131
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
37
g
12
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
28
g
31
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
28
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
33
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Hot Beverages
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: how to make Mexican Christmas ponche, how to make Mexican ponche, How to make ponche without fresh tejocotes

Notes

My friend Hilda, from Guatemala, also adds pineapple and probably other delicious things, too
 
©Mama Latina Tips Media
mamalatinatips.com
Silvia Martinez
Latest posts by Silvia Martinez (see all)

Sharing is caring!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
Rate this recipe




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

As Seen On