Each year our staff comes together to celebrate the past year over a decadent feast prepared by our chef Mark Rohrmeier, complete with our wines, freshly-milled Olio Nuovo and even some holiday caroling. This meal is always delicious. The caroling is always...entertaining. Here's the tales from our latest Ponche Navideño Mexicano.
This year we added some twists, as staff shared flavors and recipes from home including Christine's homemade eggnog, Kelly's Russian tea cakes, Felipe's flan, Ellen's sinfully-delicious chocolate cake and Olga's ponche, to name just a few.
Ponche is a hot Christmas punch filled with stewed fruits, and its an essential part of Christmas in Mexico. The recipe can vary by region, but it often includes ingredients in Olga's Oaxacan version, such as cinnamon, tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks and seasonal fruits like guavas and apples.
5 G water
2 stalks fresh sugar cane*, chopped into 2"-3" pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lb fresh Tejocote (Hawthorne), halved
1 jar Tejocote*, chopped
9 apples (3 golden delicious, 3 Fuji, 3 Granny Smith), chopped in 1"-2" pieces
8 oz peanuts, shelled
3 lbs guava*
In a large stock pot, bring water to a simmer over medium heat and add cinnamon sticks.
Once water comes to a rapid boil, add pieces of cane sugar and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tejocote and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Add remaining fruits and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Add sugar to taste.
Serve while warm and top with a splash of tequila. (Olga recommends Anejo Patron.)
*Ingredients can often be found at Latin or Asian markets.