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Fruit and Spice Christmas Punch.The first time I made this fruit and spice Christmas punch, Andrés Ignacio, who was then 14 years old, sentenced, and rightly so: “Mom, this tastes like Christmas.”The Mexican fruit and spice punch that inspired today’s recipe is an infusion of tejocote, guava, tamarind, prunes and apples with spices. Some add sugar cane pieces and nuts.It’s served hot with a splash or piquete —as the Mexicans would say— of rum, during Las Posadas, which are the nine evenings before Christmas, and of course on Christmas Eve.It’s very popular in Mexico and Guatemala and it’s a delight when it’s cold outside.Without rum, it’s simply a delicious fruit and spice infusion for the whole family. When I added Ron deVenezuela, it brought to my memory the flavors and aromas of those mistelas and calentaítos that are served in the mountainous regions of the Venezuelan Andes, when temperatures drop.It’s prepared in large quantities and is sweetened with piloncillo, which is how Mexicans call Venezuelan’s papelón and Colombian’s panela.Today I decided to perfume my house with its aroma and also dedicate this post to my dear Ana Cristina Enríquez, from whom I have learned so many good secrets of the extraordinary Mexican gastronomy and traditions.I hope this holiday season brings us all many good things. I hope we all enjoy a merry Christmas, in peace and surrounded by our loved ones. I hope we’ll never forget what we truly celebrate: the arrival of the Child of God to Earth.
Fruit & Spice Christmas Punch
- 1 green apple seeded, cut into half-inch dices
- 1 red apple seeded, cut into half-inch dices
- 1 California orange with skin seeded and cut into ¼-inch slices and then into eighths
- ½ cup prunes cut into pieces
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 cup frozen tamarind pulp
- 2 cinnamon sticks plus those needed to decorate
- 1 cup of piloncillo papelón cut into small pieces
- 6 cups of water
- In a pot put all the ingredients, except the Ron de Venezuela, and cook over medium-high heat, until it boils.
- Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a splash of Ron de Venezuela.
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