It makes my skin crawl when I go to research a recipe and punch the name of a drink into my favorite search engine to see what I can find, and BAM: the top 5 pages of a drink recipe is dominated by Sandra Lee, Emeril Lagosse, and a bunch of "made easy" cooking sites. Try it yourself...I don't blame them or the fact they have better optimization. I blame the cocktail world for not being more diligent and getting the right info out there....myself included
This happened when I began researching the history of a very obscure drink ( big surprise, right?) and found absolutely nothing from the bar community. I know I am not the only person to hear of this drink. I know because I was introduced to it by my good friends Natalie Rivera and Joe Walsh (no not the guitar player). The drink? Coquito aka Puerto Rican Eggnog.
EGGNOG!!!! You think there would be an entire website dedicated to universal variations of this drink. A website telling the tale of this ancient flip style drink with legends and myths and tales of traditions. Or is it just too damn hard to spend 20 minutes making something homemade anymore; that prepackaged crap-in-a-carton is better? Really?
It's obvious the Spanish and English brought Nogs to the Caribbean and made do with what was available to them and the recipes would then evolve to include local ingredients. We see this everywhere and it is no stretch of the imagination that it happened in the islands as well. In the case of Coquito coconut milk, cream and /or water became involved.......then again so did Condensed and evaporated milk.
"Puerto Ricans LOVE that shit!"' Joe exclaimed when I asked him about it. Another brick wall.
Now the Homemade Coquito that Joe and Natalie gave me was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!! Natalie is from a Puerto Rico, and the bottle of Coquito they passed along followed her family's recipe. I would never dare ask for it but they did let me in on a couple of secrets that I then worked into a recipe to share. And yes, I did not escape the evap or condensed milk as these work in substitution for sugar. Besides, Like Joe said.......
- 1 14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 12-ounce can Evaporated Milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup cream of coconut
- 2 cups Don Q Gold Rum (the rum of choice in PR)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Canela (cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
In a mixing bowl beat the egg yolks to the color of butter, add the salt, canela and clove and continue to beat until full incorporated (otherwise the spices will separate). Next whisk in the condensed milk evaporated milk, the coconut products in the order of cream, milk then water. Finally add the rum. I use my stand mixer and the whisk attachment for the whole operation, and yes the bowl gets full quick!
Bottle and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy chilled without ice.
So enjoy a little twist on your holiday celebration this year and enjoy a little nog from a different part of the world where Santa an elf hat.......he rocks a fedora!