The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I have recently come to the conclusion that Christmas should either be white or tropical, nowhere in between.  Fortunately whether you are sitting by a roaring fire watching the snow accumulate by the foot or stretched out with your feet in the sand enjoying the peaceful sound of the waves hitting the beach this drink has you covered.

The Coquito is a traditional holiday drink from our island neighbor Puerto Rico.  History is pretty sparse, but as it is similar to eggnog, I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that it evolved due to the abundance of indigenous ingredients.

As this, once again, is a cocktail made for celebrations, the recipe here is for a crowd.  Start by warming eight cups of coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat.  When the milk starts to steam add three quarters of a cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Meanwhile place sixteen egg yolks in a mixing bowl add four tablespoons vanilla extract and whisk until well blended.  I do not use much spiced rum, but this is a circumstance where I think the spice adds to the drink.  Stir in two cups of Captain Morgan’s and then slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan stirring constantly and using caution not to let the mixture boil.  Remove from heat when completely mixed.  While the Coquito is traditionally served cold, I enjoy it hot as well.  To serve it cold, place the mixture in a glass container and refrigerate until ready to serve.  This recipe also makes for a lighter libation appropriate for all of your guests, I personally like to add another ounce (or more) of rum to my cup when serving.  To finish it off, top the mixture with fresh ground Ceylon cinnamon before serving.

8 cups coconut milk
¾ cup of sugar
16 egg yolks
4 tbl vanilla extract
2 cups spiced rum
Gently heat milk over low heat, add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  In a separate bowl whisk eggs and vanilla, add the rum.  Slowly mix the egg mixture into the milk, stirring constantly.  Serve with freshly ground cinnamon over the top.

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