As the weather cools down for the holidays, the conversation generally turns to talk…non-stop talk…yadda yadda yadda, talk about pumpkin spice. Everything from “simple” coffee drinks to hot dogs. Yup! But I will leave that one right there. You might be that person who looks forward to imbibing in something-or-everything pumpkin spice, or you might be that person who runs for the hills because the thought of consuming anything that tastes or smells like potpourri is just so unappealing.
At this time of year, however, there is a less-celebrated elixir that is equally addictive. For those of us that are “chosen”, coquito literally feels like “life” beginning right after Thanksgiving. For the uninitiated, coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican drink, also known as Puerto Rican eggnog. Coquito, if done right, is a creamy cocktail that feels like drinking dessert.
There are as many variations of Coquito as there are Puerto Ricans making it, but generally it is made from coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, various spices and rum. The rum is everything. It must be strong, and just right. Finally, if it isn’t made in a huge hoya then it isn’t real coquito. Well maybe it is, but the experience of seeing all that coquito in the big pot is something to behold.
Coquito is so much a way of life at this time of year, that there are coquito-making competitions. One to check out is at the Bronx Museum of The Arts. You can get your tickets and enjoy an amazing night of coquito tasting.