There are some recipes that give you that feeling of nostalgia. They bring back fond, intimate memories. They offer a kind of comfort that makes you mindful of a time, a place, or a singular moment. Dishes or cocktails that remind you of family, of home.
This holiday cocktail is one of mine.
We gather around the table as my mom (and before my dad’s passing – my dad) attempts to grab everyone’s attention, so we can begin our Christmas meal. Each of my family members continuing to talk over one another. Bursts of laughter echoing off the walls and at least a handful of stories being swapped all at the same time. And then just like that, the room grows quiet, my mom begins saying grace and the sound of clinking of glasses swiftly takes over. In our glasses, the Puerto Rican holiday staple, coquito.
A coconut rum-based drink that tastes like the Caribbean if you can imagine. The fragrant aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg. The sweetness of the coconut flavor. Each playing their part and marrying all together to create the perfect festive cocktail.
So, go ahead, make yours, and enjoy a little piece of the Caribbean and more importantly a piece of generational tradition.
1 15 oz. can of Coco Lopez cream of coconut
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk (full fat)
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
12 oz. of Puerto Rican Rum (Don Q Cristal)
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
½ tsp. of nutmeg
½ tsp. of ground cinnamon
Shredded coconut, garnish (optional)
Cinnamon Sticks, garnish (optional)
In a blender, add in all ingredients –the cream of coconut, condensed milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk, rum, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Blend until completely combined.
Put mixture into a refrigerator for at least two hours or until completely cooled. Give coquito a shake or a stir to recombine all ingredients as cinnamon and nutmeg tend to settle to the bottom. Serve and garnish with shredded coconut, a dash of cinnamon, and cinnamon sticks, if desired.