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Christmas punch: history, tradition and the recipes of 3 of its most delicious versions

Christmas punch: history, tradition and the recipes of 3 of its most delicious versions

Christmas punch: history, tradition and the recipes of 3 of its most delicious versions

The ancient tradition of Punch, with that delicious cream or foam that crowns it, it remains to this day, especially on mountain nights and in special celebrations such as festivities, birthdays, baptisms, Holy Week The Christmas Andean. It is a custom, for example, that during cold nights the punch is complemented with pisco or brandy, while others tend to drink this comforting drink with black beer, depending ‘on the customer’s taste’.

The varieties are abundant and vary according to the region where it is consumed: with beans, peanuts, sesame, 7 seeds, masato. In addition, among the range of liquors that you can take are pisco, brandy, macerated ayrampito, black beer (hot or cold), mulled wine, rum or coffee liqueur. It can be served with plenty of whipped foam or the cream of the egg whites beaten at nine o’clock, and it has decorations like the always cheerful multicolored sprinkles, especially for boys and girls. The options are whimsical. Only in the local Huancahuasi, a typical restaurant of Huancaína food, is offered at Christmas the quinoa punch and the Huancahuasi punch of the house, made with peanuts, seven seeds and quinoa, super powerful specimens.

Also, from Huancayo, we talked with the teacher, a well-known establishment on Calle Real 235, in the center of Huancayo. He arrived from Huánuco and for more than 25 years he transferred the punch from Huanuco to the Uncontestable City, with its characteristic whipped cream sticking out of the glass.

Strikeouts Leo excelled with his strikeout innovations at Mistura.  (Photo: Miguel Yovera / GEC)

“We started with a type of punch that is the classic cereal-based, this is typical of Huánuco and it is customary to prepare and share with the family on birthdays or larger gatherings such as patron saint festivities, and it is distributed to visitors”, we Tucto says. “The type of punch I make comes from Huánuco. Huancayo, Ayacucho and Cusco have their own kind of punch. In Cusco it is made from beans. In Huancayo they make peanut punch, very delicious, but it does not have the whipped cream that we present. 20 years ago I brought to Huancayo the rice punch with added value of quinoa, soy and maca. That’s how we started to sell it, ”recalls Tucto, who before the pandemic had a store in the Cánepa de Gamarra Park, but had to close due to the crisis.

Ponches Leo prepares around 25 flavors of punch in Huancayo.  (Photo: Mónica Palomo / GEC)

In its preparation, the boiled liquid contains rice, cinnamon and cloves, quinoa, soy milk and maca. The characteristic smoothie is made from egg white and sugar, you can add a little ground cinnamon and vanilla. “In Huánuco it is served with pure brandy, in Huancayo we have become accustomed to serving it with pisco or brandy, to suit the client,” adds the expert. From his participation in Mistura, Ponches Leo innovated with versions for the Lima heat such as the cold orange and malt punch, and later the aguaymanto and soursop punch were born. Guaranteed successes. Currently, Leo Punch has over 25 flavors of punch based on seeds, nuts, cereals, maca, and spirits.

On the other hand, from his family experience, Elías Valdez, chef born in Huancayo and one of the creators of the page To eat!, extremely popular on social networks, he remembers that the first time he had punch was a version prepared by his mother based on figs, dried fruits such as peanuts and sesame and a little walnuts. “My grandfather, who is from Huancavelica, makes punch but only on special occasions like Christmas or birthdays. There they don’t usually have hot chocolate, but punch, and for Christmas they put rice, nuts, pecans, a lot of sesame, vanilla essence, a little pisco or cañazo and, at the end, a little evaporated milk ”, he tells us .

Given its age, this magical drink not only has a strong nutritional content, it also keeps the tradition of Peruvian supplies and the memory of the grandmothers who prepared them at home. When reviewing Peruvian punch recipes on YouTube, many users nostalgically comment on how much they miss their mother’s punch, the one they prepared for them in their childhood kitchen.

The weight of the story

Huancayo, Ayacucho, Abancay, Iquitos and the different regions of the country have a particular way of preparing this nutritious elixir that came to America from Europe, and is accompanied with bread, cheese patties, corn tortilla or whatever you want.

The tradition of punch is so ingrained that today we can learn about historical recipes such as the punch of Los Libertadores, created within the framework of the proclamation of Independence, when the Hotel Maury was the Maury inn and Don José de San Martín stayed in this place. The recipe was recovered by the famous bartender Eloy Cuadros and is only prepared every July 28 to toast in Congress. His recipe includes pisco, beer, whiskey, cognac, wine, milk, egg, carob and sugar.

Eloy Cuadros, famous bartender at the Hotel Maury in downtown Lima.  Cuadros rescued the historic recipe for Ponche de Los Libertadores.  (Photo: Omar Lucas / GEC)

Another rescue is the Andean punch recipe by Doña Isabel Roldán de Muñoz (Lima), published in the wonderful recipe book. Here Roldán de Muñoz details: “Six or twelve glasses of orange or lemon ice cream are poured into a punch bowl; Add water sweetened with burnt sugar, cinnamon, powdered nutmeg, and the amount you want, rum, brandy or grape brandy. Stir incorporating everything, and covering the punch bowl with a folded napkin, let it infuse for an hour. When serving a piece of snow is put in each glass ”.

If you were wanting to have a punch, we leave you other versions for this Christmas:


  • 6 oz pure quebranta pisco
  • 6 oz white rum
  • 6 oz ron rubio
  • 3 1/2 oz algarrobina
  • 9 oz black beer
  • 9 oz evaporated milk
  • 9 oz syrup
  • 3 yolks
  • cinnamon powder
  • 6 cinnamon sticks


Heat the pisco, the white rum, the blond rum, three ounces of carob, the dark beer, the evaporated milk and the syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand until warm. Blend together with the yolks. Pour the remaining carob into six hot drink glasses and rotate them to impregnate the entire interior. Serve the punch, sprinkle with the cinnamon and garnish with the cinnamon sticks.

Tip: Nine ounces of stout is equal to three-quarters of a medium bottle.


  • 8 oz brandy
  • 6 tsp. sugar
  • 20 oz pure tea with cloves, hot
  • 2 clear
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 20 cloves


In an Irish coffee glass, add two ounces of brandy, one teaspoon of sugar, and five ounces of tea. Repeat the same procedure until completing four cocktails. Aside, beat the whites with the remaining sugar until stiff. Place a tablespoon in each glass, garnish with a cinnamon stick and cloves. Serve with long-handled spoons.

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Carob is a natural sweetener, whose content of fructose, sucrose and glucose is supplemented with calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and B2.

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  • 2 cups green beans cooked and peeled
  • 2 cups barley water
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp carob
  • 1 cup evaporated milk


Blend the lollipops with a cup of the cooking water. Strain, pour into a pot and simmer over medium heat for two minutes. Add the barley water and simmer for a further four minutes. Add the sugar and carob, mix well and cook until dissolved. Add the milk, stir and remove from the heat. Serve the punch, hot or cold.


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