Ponche Navideño

This hot, booze-free Mexican punch is the perfect way to heat up your holidays. 

This hot, booze-free Mexican punch is the perfect way to heat up your holidays. Hibiscus, cinnamon, guava and tamarind are standout ingredients that will make the long, dark winter nights a bit brighter. Want a boozy version? Add your favorite aged rum or brandy to individual mugs.

Ponche Navideño

Yields | 1 gallon |

  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 4 large cinnamon sticks (not Ceylon)
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 cones piloncillo (or 2 cups brown sugar)
  • 12 guava, quartered
  • ¼ cup tamarind paste
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 orange, sliced in wheels with rind intact
  • 8 oz (4-inch-long) sugar cane stick
  • 1 cup prunes
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

| Preparation | In a small saucepan over high heat, bring 32 ounces water to a boil. Add hibiscus and remove from heat; steep for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into large stockpot and discard solids. Add 12 cups water to pot. Add cinnamon, anise and piloncillo and bring to a boil, stirring often to break down sugar cones. Stir in remaining ingredients, lower heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

| To Serve | Top with rum, brandy or your favorite cold weather spirit. Serve hot.

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