Mexican Christmas Punch and Puerto Rican Low-Calorie Coquito

During the holiday season we have several parties, posadas, potlucks and family gatherings where we want to impress our guests. One of the best things about growing up in a Latino household is the food and the drinks of course. There are two drinks that we only drink during the holidays and that is: Mexican Christmas Punch and Coquito. In our family, the party is not complete without these two drinks, which are full of flavor and make a great addition to any party, especially if they’re low-calorie.

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The Christmas punch is especially popular during posadas, where the delicious smell of the fruits calls you to the table. Mexican punch is fairly easy to make and there are a variety of recipes that vary from place to place. Here is one of our favorites:

Mexican Christmas Punchmexican punch, mexican christmas punch

1 lb of Tejocotes or fruit of the hawthorn tree
8 guavas
4 pears
1 cup Jamaica or dried hibiscus flowers
20 cloves
6 sugar cane sticks
2 cones of piloncillo or Mexican brown cane sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 whole oranges
2 apples
1 cup of prunes
8 tamarind vines
6 qts of water

In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and add cinnamon, tamarind, Jamaica and cloves to a boil. Once you have the fragrant and colorful looking mixture, you remove the tamarind, Jamaica and cloves. Then add the guava, pears, whole oranges, prines and tejocotes. Make sure you dice or slice them in half. You can add more brown sugar to taste, but more than likely it won’t need it because of the sweetness of the fruit. Once it comes to a boil and the consistency is right, you can serve it with the fruit and drink it alone or with a bit of rum or brandy.