Ponche Navideño


Spiced and spiked this deliciously warm drink is a perfect for any winter holiday party. Grab the prettiest bowl you have, your nearest and dearest and enjoy this garnet hued ponche. Brewed with cinnamon sticks, tamarind, dried hibiscus, and super fresh seasonal fruit like navel oranges, tejocotes, apples and guava, it’s nothing short of gorgeous.

This makes a bunch of punch, warming you from the inside out with that special holiday + tequila magic. Set out fireside, this punch was the showstopper of our annual Tinsel and Tamales party.


Imagine a pile of tamales stacked right here. As soon as our guests arrived I put my camera away, so all I have are pre-party snapshots.


I like to serve the tequila on the side so guests can custom spike.

After a stop at the famers market and a local Mexican market we found everything needed to make ponche. At the farmers market I discovered the most beautiful sugar cane. We all oohed and aahed over the incredible skin coloring and super fresh taste.



This recipe is special to me because it was introduced by three special ladies who are my favorite kitchen companions – Irma, Gaby and Rica. A couple years ago they taught me their version for this warm punch. We’ve tweaked that original recipe a little so we could formulate a formal recipe to follow. However, you can add and subtract as you see fit. It’s all about a few pantry items and some stellar season fruit.



Let’s talk tequila. Good enough to sip on it’s own, Maestro Dobel Diamante is reasonable priced and so delicious.  Head to Bev Mo or The Bottle Shop to find this perfectly smooth and lovely tequila – it’s on sale right now at The Bottle Shop for $22! Even though it’s aged, it’s clear and makes for really easy (maybe too easy) drinking. If you like a more traditional flavor profile,  try the Fortaleza Blanco (featured in the photo above and below).  At our home, the punch bowl is always sans alcohol with a really good bottle sitting next to it. That way people can doctor it up to their desired level of kick.




No matter what you’re celebrating this season, happy holidays to you and the special people in your life. Cheers! -Val

Ponche Navideño

Ponche Navediño

Kitchen collaboration recipe with Irma, Gaby and Rica



1 large apple, cored and sliced

1 navel orange, slice in wheels

4 tejocotes, ends sliced off

3 guavas, sliced in half

4 tamarind, peeled

4 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup dried hibiscus, quickly and gently rinsed in cool water

6” piece of sugar cane, peeled and cut into long matchsticks

4 cloves

1/2 cup sugar

10-12 cups filtered water


Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to boil. Taste to make sure it’s as delicious as I’m promising here. Strain into cups and then spike as needed, we’ll fish out the sugar cane to act as a stirrer stick in each drink. If you have a large group, keep some simmering on the stove and keep adding to punch bowl to keep it warm and cozy.