Mexican Ponche Recipe | Desert Botanical Garden


Mexican Ponche is a warm fruit punch served during the holidays. This sweet and comforting beverage is made with apples, pears, oranges, guavas, as well as the sweet blend of hibiscus, tejocotes, and piloncillo—a perfect complement to the winter season and the delectable dishes enjoyed during Posadas and family gatherings.

Although Ponche has gained great popularity in Mexico, experts point out that this celebrated hot beverage is a mixture of European and Indigenous gastronomies, and its origin traces back to India.

The composition of Ponche may vary by region, but the essence is the same. You can even include a hint of tequila, mezcal or rum, referred to as “piquete.”

During La Posada at the Garden on Dec. 17, guests can savor this delicious beverage while enjoying live music, entertainment and the dazzling luminaria lights. Below is a recipe for Mexican Ponche.


Portion for 10 people
Cooking time: 1.25 hours

  • 1.32 gallons of water (5 liters)
  • 1 pound of tejocote
  • 1 pound of guava (cut into pieces)
  • ¼ pound of prunes (cut into pieces)
  • 5 yellow apples (cut into pieces)
  • 3.3 pounds of sugar cane (cut into pieces)
  • ¼ pound of peeled tamarind
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cones of piloncillo (7 ounces)
  • ¼ pound of brown sugar
  • 3.5 ounces of hibiscus flower
  • Rum, tequila, mezcal (optional)

The secret of Ponche lies in the distribution of the ingredients. The key is how well you distribute all the ingredients.

Start by boiling a liter of water in a large pot and add the hibiscus flowers. Allow them to infuse their flavor for about five minutes before adding the sugar cane (cut into pieces).

After another five minutes, pour in an addition 4 liters of water. Begin adding the diced apple, whole tejocotes, cinnamon sticks, prunes, peeled tamarind and lastly, the guava.

Once all the ingredients are simmered and blending their flavors, add the piloncillo cones.

Important: given varying preferences for sweetness, sugar is optional. Taste the Ponche as it simmers to check whether it needs sugar or not. Keep the flame at medium heat for at least 30 minutes.

Now serve it hot and make sure you have an even distribution of the fruits inside the cups, if you want you can add some tequila, rum or mezcal.

We hope you enjoy immersing in a new culture through its flavors and celebrations. Click here to learn more about the tradition of Posadas or purchase tickets here.


Las Noches de las Luminarias: The Garden closes at 4 p.m. and reopens at 5:30 p.m., last daytime admission is at 2 p.m.