The Twelve Nightmares of Christmas, Day Nine: Christmas Booze

So, are you burned out on eggnog? (That is TOTALLY not a thing for me. I’d drink it all year ’round if my waistline would let me.) But if you want a change from traditional nog, why not go exotic, and give coquito a try? Coquito (Spanish for “little coconut”) is a creamy rum punch from Puerto Rico, served at Christmas and all through the winter holidays. It’s lush and spicy, and the coconut flavor isn’t overpowering. It’s almost like Irish cream, but even better (well, I think it’s even better — you might prefer the other. And that’s fine.) Here’s a good recipe:

COQUITO

1 can evaporated milk

1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1-2 star anise pods

1 can coconut milk

1 can condensed milk

1 can cream of coconut

1 1/2 cups rum (be sure to choose a rum you’d like to drink. Dark spiced rum plays well with the other ingredients.)

Pour evaporated milk into a small saucepan. Add spices. Bring to a quick boil, then simmer for three minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Pour the spiced milk through a sieve. Pick out cinnamon sticks and save; put other spices in compost (or for an extra kick, leave the ginger in. I do this, because I’m a fiend for ginger.)

Put spiced milk and all other ingredients into a blender (it will be FULL). Blend thoroughly at medium speed. Pour into a glass bottle, and put the cinnamon sticks back in. Chill overnight; store in fridge. Serve cold, with a dusting of cinnamon.

You can play with the recipe, too. You don’t HAVE to put the rum in, if you or your guests don’t care for it. You might want to add a splash of vanilla to the blender, too. You can drink it straight, or on the rocks. You do you — it’s Christmas, after all!

Creamy, dreamy coquito!

It’s nice to have a glass of this while you’re listening to a fun podcast — say, something from Weird Darkness. Here’s the place to go! www.weirddarkness.com

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