Forget The Eggnog! Here’s Some South of the Border Favorites
Who said living along the border is all about tequila and beer! Ok, sometimes it is.
With the holidays just around the corner, here are a few of my favorite holiday drinks.
Let’s start off with the easy ones. These drinks are usually served during the holiday season.
My family’s recipes maybe a little different from your family’s recipes.
1. Champurrado: Chocolate atole
My own personal favorite atole, this ancient beverage brings together two of my favorite things, corn and chocolate. Besides being a good breakfast drink, atole is nice late at night, perfect for those who want to avoid a late supper but don’t want to go to bed on an empty stomach.
- 1/3 cup masa harina mix ( any Hispanic store carries it )
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 tablets of Mexican chocolate (4 ounces)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or piloncillo,(raw sugar cone) to taste
In a medium saucepan, dissolve the masa harina mix in the water and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture reaches the consistency of heavy cream.
Strain mixture into a larger saucepan; add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the chocolate and sugar have dissolved. The champurrado may be thinned with milk if desired.
Serve in hot mugs.
2. Rompope : Mexican style eggnog
You can buy an already made Rompope, but why would you?
Made by the colonial-era nuns at the Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla, Mexico (Santa Clara brand is still one of the most popular) it is fun and very easy to make at home. Unlike north-of-the-border eggnog, rompope already contains alcohol, although in a small proportion, so it does not require the addition of rum or brandy, as is the custom in the US.
- 2 quarts milk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 12 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 cup grain alcohol (96 proof) or 3 cups rum (to taste)
In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil with the baking soda and cinnamon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Boil again, remove from heat, and cool again. (DON’T SKIP THS STEP, as it will “Break” on you.
Stir in sugar, vanilla and beaten egg yolks. Return mixture to the heat and simmer over a medium flame, stirring constantly, until the bottom of the pan can be seen when stirring. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in grain alcohol or rum.
3. Ponche navideño ( Calientitos) : Mexican holiday punch
This is one that my Mom’s Mom used to make (yeah my grandmother).
In addition to being served in Mexican homes during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, hot Mexican holiday punch or ponche navideño is sold at night by street vendors who ladle it out from steaming cylindrical vats. The tejocote is a small fruit, golden in color when mature, similar in taste to an apple, but with a pastier texture. It is not easily found outside of Mexico, but apples make a good substitute.
- ¾ pound small apples or tejocotes, peeled and sliced
- 10 guavas, halved
- ½ pound raisins or prunes or a mixture of both
- 6 oranges, scrubbed and sliced with rind
- 1 cup jamaica (dried hibiscus) flowers
- 4 pieces sugar cane stalk, peeled and cut into strips (see note)
- 3 sticks cinnamon, each about 6 inches long
- 7 quarts water
- sugar to taste (the usual proportion is 1/3 cup to each quart of water)
- brandy, rum or wine to taste (optional)
Place the apples, guavas, raisins or prunes, oranges, sugar cane and cinnamon in a large stockpot with the water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add sugar to taste, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. If adding brandy or other alcohol, add and simmer a few minutes longer. Serve hot in mugs. Serves 16-18.
Note: If sugar cane is unavailable, increase the amount of sugar added
4. Cafe de olla: Sweet cinnamon coffee:
One of the easiest and fastest of the holiday drinks. This is a great early-morning energy booster, as well as a good beverage for those who need to stay awake later in the day.
- 4 heaping teaspoons medium-grind coffee (not instant)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar or piloncillo, or to taste
- 2 Cloves (crushed)
- 1/2 Star anes
- 6 7 Cups of water
Bring the water to a boil. Add the coffee, clove, star anis,cinnamon and sugar continue boiling for 30 seconds.
Stir and strain into hot mugs. Add milk or drink it black.
Rum, brandy or coffee liquor can all be used in any of these drinks to make it a hoping good time, but remember. Drink responsibly!
You have a family drink you want to share, e-mail me