Video by: Ignacio Torres
When mixing up cocktails for a crowd, Mexican ponche is an easy and delicious option: sweet brown sugar and hibiscus tea stepped with plenty of fragrant fruit and fragrant spices, generously spiked with tequila. It’s a cocktail that’s traditional in Mexico during Christmas, offered by the ladlelful by street vendors and in fine restaurants alike.
“I love ponche for entertaining,” says Aaron Fitas, who will be serving mugs of the warm cocktail from his post behind the bar at New York City eatery Yerba Buena. “It’s easy to make for friends and family, and you can keep it warm at the stove until the party ends!”
Thought to be handed down from Spanish colonialists who brought with them the mulled wine to Mexico, ponche differs from its European counterpart in that it relies on tropical fruits – think juicy oranges and sweet guavas – to bring out the crisp, herbaceous notes of tequila, a spirit native to Mexico. With a glass in hand, this Christmas is sure to be a merry one!
Mexican Christmas Punch
4 oranges (sliced)
guavas cut in halves
5 lady apples (sliced)
1 cup of hibiscus flowers or tea
10 sugar cane sticks (can use canned)
4 cinnamon sticks
5 cups of water
Brown sugar to taste
1 bottle (750ml) tequila reposado.
Preparation: Put all the ingredients, except the tequila, in a pot and bring it to boil. Once boiled, lower the heat, add the tequila and simmer for a few minutes. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate, or serve hot.