Updated: 12/13/2016 3:43 PM | Print Story |  Email

Hot Holiday Punch

This is a delicious holiday punch will warm you up on a cold winter day and it will make your whole house smell like Christmas!  The aromas that permeate the kitchen when you’re making ponche de frutas scream, “Christmas!” You can make this punch with just pineapple or with other fresh and dried fruits. There’s nothing more festive and scrumptious than this punch for entertaining guests while serving Tamales Navideños (Christmas tamales) during the holidays. It keeps for days in the refrigerator. Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard shows us how it’s done.


Holiday Ponche de Frutas or Hot Holiday Punch
By Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

Serves 4 to 6 people


Bolsita de Especias (Spice Sachet)
1/2 canela stick (Ceylon cinnamon)
1 star anise
6 allspice berries
6 cloves
6 black peppercorns
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup finely chopped pineapple
1/4 cup diced apples
1/4 cup diced peaches
1/2 cup sliced dried fruits
2 tablespoons raisins
6 sliced dried pitted prunes
Guatemalan dark rum or Indita (Guatemalan sugarcane aguardiente) or other rum of choice (optional).

How to make it:

Enclose all the spices in a 4 x 4-inch piece of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine, leaving a long string. Tie the string to the handle of a medium saucepan and place the sachet inside the pan. Add the water and sugar to the pan and bring to a quick boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until aromatic (, about 10 minutes). Add all the fresh and dried fruits and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust sweetness or spices, if needed. Serve the punch in mugs with bits of fruit and some rum, if you like.  You can make this punch in a Crock-Pot. Simply combine all ingredients in the Crock-Pot and set it on high. When the punch is aromatic, adjust the heat to the lowest setting, and let it sit until you’re ready to serve it. The punch tastes even better on day two.