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The origins of a cup of traditional “ponche”

Gastronomy 24/11/2023
Over the years, this tasty drink has evolved, blending flavors and traditions from distinct cultures. Get to know more about this age-old beverage considered an iconic element of Christmas festivities in Mexico.

Not a Mexican Drink

A lot of folks think “Ponche” is a Mexican drink but, hold up! It was born in India, and its name comes from Sanskrit "pañc", which, when translated to Spanish, means "five" and refers to the original recipe's ingredients: alcohol, sugar, water, lemon, and tea.

Origins in Mexico

Ponche in Mexico traces back to the colonial era, when the Spanish introduced new ingredients like fruits, spices, and sugar, mingling with native elements such as tejocote, a Mexican native fruit, and sugarcane brought in by the Spanish. The drink was initially called "ponche de frutas" and was enjoyed during parties and celebrations. This mix of ingredients has given rise to a beverage with deep cultural significance.

Key Ingredients

Mexican ponche is usually made with a mix of fresh and dried fruits like guavas, tejocotes, sugarcane, prunes, and apples, giving it that distinctive flavor. Spices like cinnamon and cloves are added, and often, piloncillo (brown sugar) is thrown in for sweetness. The final addition is the alcohol, typically rum or brandy, though non-alcoholic versions exist too.

Party and Christmas Tradition

Ponche has become an essential part of posadas, the traditional pre-Christmas celebrations in Mexico. It is more than just a drink; it's a link between the past and the present, a manifestation of Mexico's culinary and cultural richness, and a reminder of the importance of gathering and celebration during the Christmas festivities.

We invite you to enjoy this ancient and delicious drink and preserve the tradition at the tastings we'll have during the December holidays at Park Royal Hotels & Resorts. Time to say: Cheers!
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