This is where you learn a bit more about where I am from and how it shapes my love for food. I am from Long Island, NY, and it is a true melting pot. Most of my friends growing up (including myself on my father’s side) are first generation Americans. With that being said, I think that has a lot to do with my obsession with exploring other cultures through food and that’s where coquito comes in.
I grew up eating a lot of different things and that was normal to me. It wasn’t until I moved to Georgia where I found that is not actually normal. This is not to insult Georgia (unfortunately majority of areas in GA do not have a variety of cultures), but I think most places in this country outside of New York and California don’t have a plethora of different cuisines to choose from.
Puerto Rican cuisine is very near and dear to my heart. I love arroz con gandules, pasteles, yuca, and empanadas. I even used to drink Malta! My aunt is from Puerto Rico, so maybe that is why I have a special love for the food. I tried Coquito a couple of years ago, and I fell in love. Coquito is traditionally served in Puerto Rico around Christmas time. It essentially is the equivalent of eggnog but better! The main difference between traditional eggnog and coquito is the addition of coconut milk.
Coquito is like an adult dessert in a glass. It is rich, sweet, and creamy. In this recipe, I use coconut cream and real vanilla bean to take it to another level. This obviously has rum but you can leave it out if you want the kiddos to enjoy. Give it a try, you might just swap out your traditional eggnog Christmas drink for a Puerto Rican one.
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 - 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 1 half of vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- pinch of salt
- 1 - 14 oz can of coconut cream
- 1 - 12 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup of your favorite rum (we like golden rum for this).
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- freshly grated nutmeg, for topping (optional)
- Whisk the egg yolks, cream, evaporated milk, and salt in a small bowl. Place milk mixture and vanilla bean with seeds in a small sauce pot and cook on medium-low heat (stirring continuously) for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has thicken and can coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean.
- Add the cooked milk mixture and the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until frothy. Transfer to a pitcher and chill. Serve well chilled with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.