Mexican Ponche, or punch, is a hot beverage made up by simmering several fruits along with water, piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), and cinnamon, however, ingredients vary depending on the region.
Nevertheless, this delicious Christmas beverage is not from Mexican origin, as it was brought to the country by the Spanish. The punch is a mixture of European and Indigenous gastronomies.
Its origin traces back to India, where it’s known as “pãc”, which means five, because of the number of ingredients used on the original recipe: palm wine, sugar, lemon, tea, and water. It was later adopted by the English, who named it “punch” and was later referred to as “ponche” by the Spanish.
Punch is a key element during the Holidays, especially during the traditional “posadas”.
In Mexico, there are over 100 different recipes, but the basic ingredients are brown sugar, apple, hawthorn, guava, sugarcane, hibiscus flower, tamarind, and cinnamon.
According to Larousse Cocina, in Mexico City, they add pineapples, prunes, orange, and lime. Meanwhile, in Colima, they make cold punch with fruits such as guava, tamarind, and pineapple and alcohol are added.
It is quite different in Oaxaca, where they use milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and sugar.
In other countries, the punch is made with very different ingredients; in the U.S., eggnog is made with egg, sugar, milk, cream, nuts, and bourbon. In Germany, it’s called Glühwein and it’s made with red wine, lemon peel, orange, cinnamon, and sugar.
Christmas punch is a traditional beverage but it’s also an ally against colds as it has a high vitamins A, B, and C content. Nevertheless, it should be enjoyed in small portions as it can contain a large amount of sugar.