Some people like to remain close to home during the holidays, while others enjoy the hustle and bustle the holiday season can bring to a destination. Wonderfully adorned streets, busy with locals celebrating with family, friends and neighbours.
A bonus to travelling during the festive season is all the opportunities there are to try new holiday food and drinks.
I’m delighted to share with you two travel-inspired holiday drink recipes you can enjoy at home this holiday season.
The first one is spicy Peruvian hot chocolate that I had the chance to try while in Cusco, Peru. A Peruvian friend that runs a small bed and breakfast in the Sacred Valley shared her family's recipe with me.
The second recipe was sent to me by one of my colleagues in Mexico. Ponche Navideño is a warm alcoholic punch typically served in Mexico Christmas Eve through till New Years.
Spicy Peruvian Hot Chocolate Recipe
- ½ cup of water
- 2 cups milk 240 ml
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 piece orange rind, about an inch long
- 1 Star of anise
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (if desired)
- sugar to taste
- Place a small pot on the stove over medium heat, add half a cup of water and quickly add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise.
- Cook the spices half covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and strain the spices. Discard the spices and preserve the infusion.
- Return the infusion to the pot, and dissolve the unsweetened cocoa powder and instant coffee in it, whisking with a hand blender.
- Add the whole milk and the evaporated milk. Stir well until all ingredients are mixed.
- Add the pinch of nutmeg and continue beating without letting the mixture boil.
- Dissolve the tablespoon of cornstarch in three tablespoons of cold water. Add the diluted cornstarch to the cocoa and continue beating until the chocolate is thickened.
- Cook for two more minutes then add sugar to taste and serve warm in large mugs.
Ponche Navideño Recipe
- 4 liters of water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- ½ cup tamarind seeds
- 2 pears—peeled, cored and halved
- 1/4 cup guava paste
- 2 small golden apples—peeled, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup prunes
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- Tangerine slices, for garnish
- Tequila or mescal, as desired
- In a large pot, bring the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves and tamarind seeds to a boil over high heat. Reduce the temperature and simmer until the cinnamon sticks begin to soften about 10 minutes.
- Add the pears, guava paste, apples, prunes and dark brown sugar. Simmer for at least 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle the punch into mugs, ensuring each cup receives some fruit. Garnish each with a tangerine slice and 1 ounce of tequila or mescal, then serve.
Let me know if you try one of the recipes. I’d love to know what you think!
Do you have a favourite holiday drink you’ve tried on your travels? Tell us about it! You can share it below by adding a comment below.
If you have dreams of travelling abroad for the next holiday season you can hit the yellow button to request a callback and we can get started on planning a stress-free holiday.