Ponche is THE best drink Mexico has to offer during the Christmas holiday season. This year I decided to try and concoct it myself. Much to my delight, it turned out perfectly! So if you are interested in preparing this hot beverage for your New Year’s Eve festivities, let me share the recipe that Doña Lupe, one of my sister-in-law’s tortilla makers gave me.
There isn’t an exact quantity for each item because it depends on how big the pot you are using to boil it all in and your personal preferences. I’ll give you approximate measurements for 5.5-Quart pan. I recommend you don’t fill the pot to the top with water until you have all the ingredients in.
12 tejocotes, which are are small orange crabapples from the Crataegus Mexicana Hawthorn tree. If you can’t find tejocotes in your local market, crabapples will work. If crabapples are unavailable, you can leave this ingredient out or add additional green apples.
1 peeled naranja (orange)
1 length of caña (sugar cane) about three feet or so peeled and cut into pieces about 4 to 5 inches long.
8 tamarindos with the shell and veins removed. Soaking them for a while makes it easier to remove the shell and veins.
1 to 3 cones of piloncillo (brown sugar cone) depending on your personal preference and the size of the cone.
1 manzana verde (green apple) sliced.
1 pera (pear) sliced.
Top up the pot almost to the brim with water. Simmer on low for several hours, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. The drink is served hot with bits of fruit and sugar cane in it. You can spice things up by adding some rum to the mixture, but it’s not necessary as it’s simply divine as it is.
National Maritime Day (Día de la Marina) is a Mexican holiday celebrated on June 1 each year. Mexico has two huge coastlines measuring 11,122 km (6,911 mi) and as such, commands a naval forces known as the Armada de México which includes 189 ships and about 130 aircraft.
June 1 was chosen because on that day in 1917, the merchant ship “Tabasco” left Veracruz for the first time with a crew made up entirely of native-born Mexicans. Marine day was first observed in 1942 in honor of two ships that were sunk by German submarines, the Potrero del Llano and Faja de Oro.
The Mexican Navy is divided into three main units:
Marine Day celebrations include simulated maneuvers such as defusing hijacking and terrorist situations, drug busts on the open waters and so on, followed by civic events at designated naval facilities.
Being smack dab in the middle of the country, we haven’t had the occasion to watch any of these events. How is el Día de la Marina observed in your area?
Do you want to learn more about Mexican holidays and traditions?