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Patio Party

Ponche de Guadalajara

(Guadalajara Punch)

Lucinda Hutson

Throughout Jalisco, this refreshing drink is served in large, wide-mouthed clay bowls, called cazuelas. Citrus wedges are eaten or squeezed into the drink. Partakers pop chunks of watermelon and fresh pineapple into their mouths and sip the tequila-laced libation through a straw.

Cazuelas inspired this party punch. Present it in an agua fresca jar to show off the colorful fruits and ladle it into long-stemmed jumbo margarita glasses (alternatives for clay bowls) with some ice. A guest once called this drink “the quintessential finger bowl”; I call it the “the ultimate fruit cocktail”! Make sure that guests get plenty of the spiked watermelon and pineapple.

1 fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 liter bottle tequila blanco
2 cups tequila reposado
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
6 cups fresh orange juice
46 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
4 oranges, cut into bite-sized wedges
1/2 medium watermelon, cut into bite-sized chunks or triangles with peel
3 lemons, sliced
6 limes, quartered
3 small ruby grapefruit, cut in bite-sized wedges
2 star fruit sliced into star shapes
4 cans (12 ounces each) Squirt

Place pineapple chunks in a wide-mouthed glass jar. Add tequilas, juices, and sliced oranges. Chill overnight. Add watermelon, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and star fruit and chill several more hours, stirring occasionally. Add Squirt immediately before serving.

Serves approximately 20.

Note: The flavor of this punch improves with age. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator; watermelon will lose its texture, and should be stored separately (if there’s any punch left!). Lemons, limes, and grapefruit become bitter when left in the punch too long.

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