A Recipe For Coquito

This creamy drink might camouflague as eggnog but it is something all its own. The mixture of evaporated and condensed milk with the coconut milk and cinnamon water produces a sweet flavor that is a perfect compliment for the rum that goes along, creating a mildly sweet but deceptively strong drink perfect to share with friends. Make it ahead of time so that it gets very cold, a great refresher for tropical “winter” nights.

Ingredients
Yields 5 cups.

1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white rum
1 cup of water
3 cinnamon sticks
4 egg yolks, well beaten
Ground cinnamon for decoration
Instructions

1. Toss the cinnamon sticks in the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat, then allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon sticks.

2. Combine all the milks and the rum in a blender or food processor. If you have an immersion blender (motorboat), even better.

3. Combine all the other ingredients (except the ground cinnamon) and blend until well-mixed.

4. Pour into containers and chill. Puerto Rican tradition has it coquito must be stored in glass bottles, but I have buckled tradition there a few times. I leave it up to you where you store it.

5. Serve chilled with ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.

If you want to enhance the coconut flavor, use a bit more coconut milk or use
coconut rum. Adding an extra 1/2 cup of condensed milk increases the sweetness, if you like that (and I do). You can also make the cinnamon water ahead of time and chill so that the finalized coquito has less time to go in the fridge before it is ready for drinking and sharing.

I have made coquito following the above steps and also just blending everything together at once with my immersion blender. Both times the coquito has been fantastic, so feel free to try that as well. Lastly, double up all the ingredients to make about 1/2 gallon of coquito, a perfect amount for a small party or to share a few cups with friends. If you’re having a medium to big party, be ready to make 3 or 4 times as much, because coquito goes fast. You’ve been warned.

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