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Pomegranate Punch: Ponche de Granada by Karen Hursh Graber © 2005

This recipe, from the state of Jalisco, is usually served as an aperitif before a fiesta meal. In Mexico, the word ponche is most often used to mean a fruit-based alcoholic beverage. Upon aging, this drink becomes similar to a fortified wine like Madeira.

I usually squeeze a large quantity of pomegranates during September when they are at the height of their season here. I have very good results with a manual lever-type orange squeezer, such as those used by the women selling orange juice on the streets in Mexico, cutting the pomegranates in half horizontally first, as for an orange.


  • 4 cups fresh squeezed pomegranate juice (or use a good brand such as Odwalla from a health food store) strained to remove any pulp
  • 2 - 750 ml. bottles of sugar cane alcohol or a good white tequila (from pure agave)
  • ½ to 1 cup simple sugar syrup


In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Add more juice, tequila or sugar syrup to taste if necessary.

Pour mixture through a funnel into clean glass bottles, and top with corks. Leave the bottles standing up in a dark, cool place (not the refrigerator) for 3 to 6 months. The punch will show sediment on the bottom and develop a "mother" just as vinegar does. When serving, do not pour the last inch or so, or whatever amount has the sediment or mother. Many people in Jalisco let this age for a few years before serving.

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Published or Updated on: September 1, 2005 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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