Mexican Christmas Punch


Makes 16 (1 cup) servings


This warm, spiced Mexican punch is traditionally served at Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. It is made by simmering Mexican fruits, sugar cane, and spices until fragrant.


16 cups water, divided

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers

8 ounces tamarind pods, (about 12), shelled

16 MCCORMICK Whole Cloves

1 orange, quartered

12 ounces piloncillo, (panela), coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)

3 pieces fresh sugar cane, (6-inch long), peeled and quartered

1 bottle (0.75 ounces) MCCORMICK Cinnamon Sticks

30 tejocotes, (fresh or jarred)

2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 1/2 cups prunes

1/2 cup raisins



1.Bring 4 cups of the water, hibiscus, and tamarind to boil in heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan. Remove from heat. Let stand at least 15 minutes to extract flavor from hibiscus and tamarind.

2.Meanwhile, press cloves into orange quarters. Set aside.

3.Strain hibiscus mixture into large (8-quart) stock pot or Dutch oven. Discard solids. Add remaining 12 cups water, piloncillo, sugar cane sticks, cinnamon sticks, and clove-studded orange quarters. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 40 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in tejocotes, apples, prunes, and raisins. Simmer 20 minutes, or until fruit is tender.

4.To serve, ladle punch and fruit into serving mugs. Serve with sugar cane sticks, if desired.


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