Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drinks for the Season: Coquito

For today's seasonal drink, I'm sticking to my multi-cultural theme with a Puerto Rican Christmas time drink, Coquito.  Coquito is essentially a variant of eggnog, but has the distinctive characteristic of the addition of coconut cream (or coconut milk or juice in some recipes).

Here is a basic set of ingredients and recipe:
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 can sweetened condesnsed milk (14 oz.)
1 can coconut cream (Coco Lopez) (15 oz.)
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup light rum (if you want to stick to Puerto Rican, DonQ is not a bad choice; Bacardi is also an option, or if you are less concerned with authenticity, Cruzan)
- Blend ingredients well for 3-5 minutes (watch your liquid amounts, if you are like me and have a small blender you may be maxing out/going over the capacity, in which case I suggest blending without the rum, halving, and blending the 2 halves with a half portion of rum).
- Bottle with 1 cinnamon stick and a 1/2 dozen whole cloves (optional, but I like the added spice). Store in refrigerator at least 2 hrs, preferably over night before serving.  Shake before serving to reduce any clumping.

Now, that said, I like to beef this recipe up a bit.  My suggestion, which is admittedly not very authentic, is to add 1/4 cup of Goslings 151 rum. My selection of Goslings 151 is very specific here; it has a bit of a brown sugar note to it that I think works well.  If you don't have Goslings 151, the next best thing I'd suggest is add 1/4 cup additional light rum and 1/4 cup Meyer's dark rum if available, or Goslings if you have that instead.  If all else fails, you can stick with my original spec or just add 1/2 cup more light rum.

Another note:  no egg in the ingredients.  This is an area of controversy, apparently.  Some are of the opinion that egg is required or at least optional.  One Puerto Rican friend of mine (and other Puerto Rican commentators on the Web) suggest that if you add egg, it's no longer Coquito, it's Ponche, which is a similar but different beverage.  From my perspective, to each his own (after all, I'm Polish, what do I know...); I will note that some commentators on the Web claim it's better without the egg, for what it's worth.  For my part, I will go on my friend's authority, plus the fact that if I'm missing the egg, I can just make eggnog and call it a day.


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