The true origin of Mexican ponche

Mexican punch
English 18/12/2018 14:45 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 11:25

Christmas punch is a traditional beverage but it's also an ally against colds as it has a high vitamins A, B, and C content

Hawthorn is mostly available during Fall and Winter - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

Apple is always present in Mexican punch - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

Tamarind gives punch a unique flavor - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

Guava is an essential ingredient for punch - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

Prunes are also used in desserts - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

Hibiscus flower gives acidity to the punch - Photo: Sofia Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales

Mexican punch

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Ponche, or punch, is a hot beverage made by simmering several fruits along with water, brown sugar, and cinnamon but ingredients vary depending on the region.

Nevertheless, this delicious Christmas beverage is not from Mexican origin, as it was brought to the country by the Spanish. The punch is a mixture of European and Indigenous gastronomies.

Its origin traces back to India, where it's known as “pãc”, which means five, because of the number of ingredients used on the original recipe: palm wine, sugar, lemon, tea, and water. It was later adopted by the English, who named it “punch” and was later referred to as “ponche” by the Spanish.

Punch is a key element during the Holidays, especially during the traditional “posadas”.

In Mexico, there are over 100 different recipes, but the basic ingredients are brown sugar, apple, hawthorn, guava, sugarcane, hibiscus flower, tamarind, and cinnamon.

According to Larousse Cocina, in Mexico City, they add pineapples, prunes, orange, and lime. Meanwhile, in Colima, they make cold punch with fruits such as guava, tamarind, and pineapple and alcohol are added.

It is quite different in Oaxaca, where they use milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and sugar.

In other countries, the punch is made with very different ingredients; in the U.S., eggnog is made with egg, sugar, milk, cream, nuts, and bourbon. In Germany, it's called Glühwein and it's made with red wine, lemon peel, orange, cinnamon, and sugar.

Christmas punch is a traditional beverage but it's also an ally against colds as it has a high vitamins A, B, and C content. Nevertheless, it should be enjoyed in small portions as it can contain a large amount of sugar.

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