Monday, December 8, 2008

Abue's Christmas Punch

Posada season begins this Friday, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. To celebrate the twelve days of Christmas, one can imbibe in several ways. Rompope is the Mexican eggnog, a mix of eggs, vanilla and milk spiked with rum or bourbon. It is a great cream punch and one of the hallmarks of Poblano cuisine. But at my grandmother's house in Monterrey, one of the few places in Mexico that occasionally sees a White Christmas, it has always meant hot fruit punch. The Korean supermarkets in MD and VA, Shoppers and the bodegas in Mount Pleasant have the best selection of hispanic products, including sugar cane.

1. Put 25 cups of water in a large stock pot.

2. Cut, peel and dice the following:

25 tecojotes (hawthorns/rowanberries)
15 guavas
1 cup raisins
2 cups dried prunes
10 ounces unprocessed tamarind
4 apples (Golden Delicious work best)

3. Add the fruit and bring the water to a boil.

4. For flavor, once the mixture boils add:

6 pieces of sugar cane
6 cinammon sticks
Pilloncillo(Solid brown sugar) to taste

Serve the hot punch in mugs with a ladle, placing a generous helping of fruit on the bottom, garnish with a sliver of sugar cane. For a hard version, favored by our mothers, add 1 shot (1.5 ounces) of rum or brandy (the brandy will give it a more sirupy feel).

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