2021-02SFC  Edible Austin Leaderboard

Ponche para los Muertos (Punch for the Dead)


By Lucinda Hutson for a Day of the Dead celebration

This spiked and spicy punch sings of the flavors of fall. Ruby pomegranate seeds give a jeweled burst to each sip—and for those more in the Halloween spirit, they evoke drops of blood. Arrange mini-pumpkins, whole pomegranates, tangerines, greenery and kumquats around the base of a punch jar for an inviting presentation. Provide an ice bucket and glasses so guests can serve themselves!


Ponche para los Muertos (Punch for the Dead)


For 1 Batch(es)


  • For the spiced piloncillo syrup:
  • 2 8 oz. cones of piloncillo
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoons whole allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
  • For the ponche:
  • 2 quart(s) pure pomegranate or cranberry pomegranate juice
  • 1 quart(s) cranberry juice
  • 1 liter Aliseo blood orange juice (or fresh tangerine juice)
  • 1 .75-liter tequila reposado
  • 2 cups Cointreau or Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • Seeds from 2–3 large pomegranates
  • 3 10-inch cinnamon sticks
  • Several handfuls of fresh mint or Mexican mint marigold (reserve some for garnish)
  • Spiced piloncillo syrup to taste (start with half and add more as needed)
  • 3 bottles of Maine Root Ginger Brew
  • 12 tangelos or tangerines, sliced, for garnish
  • 2 star fruits, sliced, for garnish
  • Apples, pear or quince, cut into chunks, for garnish
  • Frozen cranberries, for garnish

Ponche para los Muertos (Punch for the Dead) Directions

  1. For the spiced piloncillo syrup:
    In a heavy saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer until piloncillo has dissolved. Allow to cool slightly, then add the vanilla.
  3. Strain the syrup and store in a glass jar, refrigerated.  
  4. For the ponche:
    Mix together the first nine ingredients and chill overnight (or longer)
    in an ice chest, if necessary.
  5. Add more spiced piloncillo syrup, if needed.
  6. Just before serving, splash with the ginger brew and serve in iced glasses garnished with fresh mint or Mexican mint marigold, chunks of fruit and frozen cranberries.

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