It’s not the holidays in Mexico without ponche navideño. This recipe for ponche navideño comes from José’s abuelita Elda, who passed away in 2006. This ponche is served during Las Posadas, Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) and at holiday parties, and is often spiked with brandy or rum.
This recipe gives me such warm, fuzzy feelings and memories of being back in Mexico with our family for Christmas. Typically, this is a holiday punch, but in my house we sometimes drink it all winter long if we can find all the ingredients.
While I never met Abuelita Elda, I’ve always felt like I had due to the abundance of stories I’ve heard about her and her cooking. My suegra taught me how to make her mom’s ponche recipe and someday I’ll teach my own children this holiday family favorite. I also learned that most families have their own recipe, so keep in mind this recipe isn’t the only way to make it. In fact, for a long time, nobody in our family knew that the secret ingredient in abuelita’s ponche navideño was Bonafina (a store-bought orange drink similar to Sunny Delight or Tampico Citrus Punch).