For the last two years, the entertainment industry has been on a reboot kick bringing back old cast members of beloved shows or reimagining shows with a new cast and updated story lines reflecting contemporary sensibilities. One such reboot, Charmed, a series regarding three sisters who discover that they are witches, has caught my attention because in this new retelling, the sisters are now Latina, whereas the original cast consisted of white actresses, and the supernatural mythology stems from an amalgamation of Latino stories and myths. Following the series, I occasionally will catch a passing cultural reference reinforcing the characters Latinx heritage. The Christmas episode which aired a few weeks ago, had the girls drinking more and more Coquito, a traditional, eggnog-like drink that originated in Puerto Rico, to deal with the stress of demon invasion in their home on Nochebuena.
Oddly enough, I had never heard of Coquito until last year when I was undergoing my own reboot in life, ushering my first Christmas season as a newly single-mom with a Christmas-tree decorating party. My friend and fellow foodie, Heather, brought a bottle of Coquito which she had prepared herself as a hostess gift.
Heather who by her account has “been fooling around with various eggnog recipes for over 20 years or so, including historic recipes, modern recipes and old family recipes” people have entrusted to her to try out, has only been making Coquito for two years.
“A co-worker from the Caribbean hipped me to it and I was off on another one of my merry food chases,” recalled Heather. “It’s pretty easy to distract me with new foods from all the places.”
While there are a number of Coquito recipes online, Heather’s originated from the Waldorf Astoria Resorts in Puerto Rico.
“I found that particular recipe, saw that it was from a hotel in Puerto Rico, read its back story – and decided to start with that one,” said Heather. “I’ve been trying out other Coquito recipes since then, but I still like this one the best.”
I don’t recall whether I had some Coquito at my party that night, but I did enjoy it throughout the holiday season. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to make my own Coquito this year following Heather’s recipe. Heck if it’s good enough to ward off invading demons, it’s good enough to have around when the family starts bickering and rehashing old wounds.
In Puerto Rico, Coquito, which translates to “Little Coconut,” is served throughout the entire Christmas season till Three Kings Day. There are a number of variations on this recipe, but if you find one that doesn’t call for eggs, you can make a batch at the start of the season and it would last about three months.
2 14-ounces cans condensed milk
2 14-ounces cans evaporated milk
2 14-ounces cans coconut milk
4 ounces pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
14 ounces, white Puerto Rican rum
- Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into a glass bottle (one-gallon, or 3 liters) and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve in a glass of your choice and top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
One Last Thought. . .
If you follow my blog regularly, then you know that I have not published a post since late October. While nothing new has been published until now, I have been working on content for the blog, namely transcribing an interview with a local restaurateur and testing recipes. These items will be published shortly after the new year. I truly appreciate everyone’s ongoing support and I look forward to sharing more stories with you in 2019.