Mexican Christmas Punch (Ponche Navideno)

This traditional Mexican fruit punch is spiked with rum and best served during the Christmas season. Garnish each mug with a fresh hibiscus flower and a sugar cane (or cinnamon) stick.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
12 servings


  • 12 whole cloves

  • 2 navel oranges

  • 6 Mexican hawthorns (tejocotes)

  • 12 cups water

  • ¼ cup dried hibiscus petals (flor de jamaica)

  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced

  • 1 sugar cane stick, cut into 4-inch pieces

  • 1 pear, sliced

  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 12 fluid ounces rum


  1. Stud each orange with 6 whole cloves, using the pointed ends of the cloves to pierce the skin. Cut oranges into wedges. Reserve 12 wedges for garnish. Cut some slits into each hawthorn.

  2. Bring water, hibiscus petals, and cinnamon sticks to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until water is a deep pink color, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Remove hibiscus petals but leave cinnamon sticks in the water to infuse further. Stir in orange wedges, hawthorns, apples, sugar cane, pear, and brown sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Ladle the punch into 12 mugs, making sure each mug gets some slices of fruit. Add 1 fluid ounce rum to each mug to give the punch an extra kick. Garnish mugs with reserved orange slices.

Cook's Note:

You can serve this punch in festive apple "mugs". Cut off the top of each apple and use a paring knife to score the rim. Scoop out the flesh from the center using a spoon or melon baller. Coat the interior with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

125 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 125
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 68mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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