Mexican Christmas Punch / Ponche Navideño Mexicano

PoncheNavideno 2aChristmas time in Mexico is a time to prepare the traditional Ponche Navideño/Christmas Punch. At family gatherings some will have a large pot simmering on top of the stove with the sweet liquid full of fruits, while the cinnamon and citric fruit aromas float in the air. The Ponche Navideño is another essential part of Christmas in Mexico. The recipe calls for some traditional ingredients like cinnamon,  tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks, seasonal fruits include guavas, apples, pears, oranges and dry fruits, too. The punch can be found with different added fruits depending of the region in Mexico. You can find punch with acid fruits like oranges, Mexican sweet lime or pineapple. And as far as spices go, besides cinnamon, some cooks will also add anise star and chamomile. This is the good part about this drink, that you can add the fruits you have available and it will still come out fine.Ponche Navideno
I know that for many of us living outside Mexico it’s not easy to find the traditional main ingredients like Tejocotes or sugar cane sticks, but if you live close to a Latin or Asian Store, look for the canned version of the sugar cane sticks. In some Latin stores you can even find a jar that has the hard to find ingredients like guavas, sugar cane and tejocotes in a sweet syrup. You can also find them at our amazon store. To my surprise, I found 3 brands that sell these jars of punch. And the taste is rather good. Use them to complement your punch.
Navidad en Mexico2
I hope you try this recipe, and your whole house will be filled with the Christmas flavors.
12 servings
  • 4 quarts of water (1 gallon)
  • 1 large piloncillo cone (12 oz) or brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lb Tejocotes*
  • 1 1/2 Lb. guavas (about 12 guavas)
  • 1 1/2 cup apples, chopped
  • 1 cup pear, chopped
  • 3/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 sugar cane sticks about 5 inch long, cut into four pieces each.
  • 1 cup of Tamarind pods, peeled (or 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers)***
  • Rum to taste

Ponche Navideno Mexican Christmas punch
* If you do not find all the ingredients like the tejocotes, you can still make this drink without them.
** Other dried fruits can be used as a substitute.
*** Sometimes I just add the tamarind pods and other times just the Hibiscus flowers. I rarely use the 2 in the same punch and it still comes out really tasty.

DIRECTIONS:Ponche Navideno

1. Place water in a large stockpot.
2. Add the piloncillo (or brown sugar) and cinnamon to cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using fresh Tejocotes, add them with the piloncillo and cinnamon since they take longer to soften.

Ponche Navideno

3. Add the chopped guavas, apples, and prunes along with the rest of the ingredients like the sugar cane sticks, tamarind pods or hibiscus flowers. If you are using the canned version of the tejocotes then add them in this step.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour. Serve hot in mugs, ladling some of the fruit in and adding rum to your liking.

¡Buen provecho!

There are foods or drinks that sometimes bring you memories of certain people, places, or moments in time. This punch reminds me of my younger brother, Alberto. What kind of food or dish brings back memories to you?


  1. looks great and I bet Christmas is fun in Mexico

    1. it is a lot of fun. piniatas, ponche, posadas. good food and friends.

  2. Mely qué bien me caería un jarrito de ponche ahorita mismo! Me gustó mucho la foto principal. Besos

  3. Alexis would love this. I have to get some tamarind pods, she loves prepping those for some reason.

  4. Me encantan tus jarritos...puedo preguntar donde los compraste?

    1. Hola Carmen,

      Los compre en una tienda Latina aqui en el area donde vivo. Algunas veces traen cosas de barro pero no seguido.

  5. Hola Mely

    Me encanta el ponche, yo lo preparo con flor de jamaica y le da un toque especial.

    Que pases una feliz navidad con tu familia, un abrazo desde Monterrey, Dios te bendiga!

  6. Gracias por compartir, me trae gratos recuerdos de Las navidades alla en Mexico cuando mi Abuelita todavia Vivia. Ahora si pudieras compartir recetas de aguas frescas (horchata, cebada, tamarindo, Jamaica, tepache y de frutas) serial lo maximo

  7. This punch tastes so amazing! Burst with flavor in your mouth unlike any other punch! I love this!

  8. This is my favorite part of Noche Buena. Tamales y ponche no hay nada mejor!!!

  9. We were looking for the recipe after trying it once in a church group event thing. It was soo good, I had like 3 cups of it! I couldnt find the cook but thank goodness I found your site! Im going to try it this month! Wish me luck!


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