Ponche de Navidad, a Mexican Christmas tradition.

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Buñuelos and ‘Ponche de Navidad’ [with or without Tequila], guests of honor at Mexican Christmas family gatherings. This week we celebrated a Posada with Norma and her family. She prepared this warm, inviting drink, gave me the recipe and shared some of this tradition’s story. Common Mexican middle of the road knowledge says this tradition started when during colonial times, the Spaniards brought this recipe from Europe to Mexico. Since then, on the Posadas (“novenas”) and “Nochebuena” (Christmas Eve) nights Mexican families in Mexico have shared time around this Ponche de Navidad in expectation of Christmas Day. Today, families continue this old tradition whether in Mexico or abroad. Before going home, kids receive ‘bolos’, or treat/loot bags with the following goodies: Animal crackers, peanuts and Mexican spicy candies. 🙂

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Mexican Buñuelos go very well with the drink. (Do not mistake Mexican Buñuelos for Colombian Buñuelos , another Christmas tradition in that country.)

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Ponche de Navidad Recipe 😉

Start boiling enough water  (calculate 2 cups per guests) with enough cinnamon sticks (1 stick per 2 cups of water.) When it boils add abundant amount of fruits (below), brown or white sugar, and a Tequila shot (optional).

  • Fruits cut in big chunks or slices: Oranges, pears, apples, tamarinds, guavas, sugar cane pieces, tejocotes (or kumquats, if you can’t find tejocotes)
  • Notes: 1) Alternative to adding the Tequila shot to the pot, you may add it to the cups, as you serve. Guests often prefer to decide if they’ll want it with Tequila or not. 2) Sugar Cane and Tamarind are often found at Whole Foods or international markets.

Hopefully you can try this easy Ponche de Navidad recipe. If you decide to make it, do let me know how it goes! It’s also great for any cold winter night..

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2 comments

  1. Great post! We are running a Christmas photo challenge at the moment by which we hope to gather photos and descriptions of Christmas traditions from all around the world. If you’d like to participate, write a couple of sentences about Christmas in Mexico, send us a photo to represent it and we will publish the best entries on our blog with a link to your site. Sounds good? 🙂 Here you will find more details: http://hitchhikershandbook.com/2013/12/21/christmas-traditions-around-the-world-photo-challenge/
    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 🙂

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