Guatemalan Christmas Ponche

By Melissa Pitts

First, let me begin this recipe intro by saying that this is not Mexican ponche! Guatemalan ponche is very different from your classic Mexican version (you’ll have to wait for Abigail to post that one later this week!) but nonetheless it is delicious, easy, and does not have a million ingredients.

I simplified it a little by eliminating the bouquet garni and using ground spices, but you can use a bouquet and use whole spices if that’s what you have. It’s the ponche I grew up with around the holidays and I have fond memories of spending Christmas with my family Guatemala drinking this warm concoction. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Serves 4

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


  • 32 oz orange juice (I like mine with some pulp, but as you prefer)
  • 1 6oz can, pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups chopped dry fruit (a variety of apple, pineapple, papaya, prunes, etc is the best)
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 anis star (whole)


1. In a large saucepan on medium heat, add ¼ cup of the pineapple juice, and all the other ingredients. Let simmer 10 minutes.

2. Taste the ponche and add more pineapple juice to your taste. Because pineapple juice is very sweet it’s best to add a little at a time and thus the reason for starting with only ¼ cup.

3. Once you have reached your desired sweetness, simmer at least a total of 20 minutes, or more. When serving, remove the anis star.

P.S. Of course you can make this a little more festive by adding some famous Guatemalan rum!

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