As I walked through the grocery store, I got excited when I saw eggnog loaded on the shelves. Not to disrespect my beloved “coquito,” but America likes to compare it to eggnog. In my opinion, it is the much better tasting cousin! Coquito is a traditional food that all Puerto Ricans hold close to their hearts. Growing up, it is associated with Holidays, Love and Family. Coquito translated means “little coconut.” It is best enjoyed super cold. Here is how we make it in my house. If you are serving children or people who don’t drink, simply leave out the rum.
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (1 15 oz can) cream of coconut
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
**1 1/2 cup white rum (Must be white. I prefer Bacardi, of course)
cinnamon sticks for garnish
I suggest 1 1/2 cups of white rum. If that sounds like too much, start with 1 cup and add more to taste. I like to add just enough rum that it’s prickly on the back of your throat and warms you on the inside. It will be one of the few drinks you’ll have that is cold that warms you up. Just be careful because the flavor of the rum gets stronger the longer the drink “marinates.” LOL. If you have a family like mine, it could be the gift that keeps giving. Abuela once told me that egg yolk came from the white American tradition of eggnog, so some Rican’s have welcomed it into their coquito. I stick to my original roots, so I am part of the NO egg yolk camp! Debate amongst yourself and enjoy!