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Drinks

Christmas ponche

Christmas ponche
Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

How do you know it's Christmas at Bricia Lopez's house? There's a big Christmas tree in one corner of the art-filled hillside bungalow; a baby bobs in his bouncy chair. Bricia, her sisters Elizabeth Lopez and Paulina Lopez Velasquez, and ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 10
  • 6 quarts plus 1 1/2 cups water
  • Scant 3 1/2 cups (1 1/2 pounds) sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 1/2 ounces piloncillo
  • 1 pound tejocotes, each one slit several times from the outer edge to, but not through, the core
  • 2 pounds sugar cane, peeled and cut lengthwise into 4-inch pieces
  • 3 firm cooking apples, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 cup dried hisbiscus (jamaica) flowers
  • 1 cup prunes
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup peeled tamarind
  • 1 pound guava, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Rum or mezcal, for serving

Step 1In a large pot, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon and piloncillo over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Add the tejocotes and sugar cane. After 5 minutes, add the apples, hibiscus, prunes, raisins and tamarind. After 5 more minutes, add the guava. Reduce the heat to low. Serve hot, with rum, if desired.

Note: Piloncillo, tejocotes, dried hibiscus flowers (jamaica) and tamarind are generally available at Latin markets.

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