Recipe of the Month:: Ponche Navideno

It‘s December: ponche time. Ponche, is to the Latinos what mulled wine is to the Europeans. Guatemalan ponche is distinct to Mexican ponche. It uses a mixture of dried and fresh fruit and boiled with spices rather than hibiscus, Guatemalan ponche can be served with or without ‘piquete’, alcohol. You can guess which I prefer. Traditionally prepared for ‘la noche buena’ this drink can be found in most markets and cafes during the run up to Christmas to keep Highlanders warm in the increasingly cold Xela nights. So, if you‘re planning a Christmas Shindig this is a great drink to uphold festive traditions while keeping your guests warm, if not a little tipsy.

Ingredients: One ripe pineapple, skinned, cored and finely chopped

2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup raisons (pasas)

1/2 cup prunes (ciruelas)

4 whole peppercorns (pimientas gordas)

2 star anis

1 orange with 10 cloves stuck in

10 cups of water ? 1/2 cup of sugar (optional)

As much rum as you like.


1.Place the pineapple, apple, cinnamon, raisins, prunes, peppercorns, star anis, and the orange in a large pot. Pour over the water, cover and bring to the boil over a high heat

2.Turn the heat down, take off the lid and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Towards the end, taste and add sugar to taste and stir

3. To serve, add 1/2 cup or more of rum to the whole pot or a little drop to each cup as you serve.

Bon appétit, Xela!

My Latin American food blog can be found at

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