a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
If you’ve never tried coquito—a Puerto Rican version of eggnog made with coconut milk—you don’t know what you’ve been missing.
I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Puerto Rico visiting my brother and sister and their families. One of my favorite things about going down there this time of year is that everyone is pulling out their homemade version of this traditional, creamy, boozy, holiday drink. It seems like every family has a secret recipe for this cheerful Caribbean concoction. My tea foodie version is more like eggnog than some of the traditional coquito recipes I’ve seen. But it sure tastes as decadently coconut-y as the coquito I’ve sipped in Puerto Rico.
For a tea foodie twist, I steeped Savory Spice Shop’s Chai Spices blend (with crystallized ginger, cardamom, star anise, black peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon) in a Puerto Rican dark rum for a couple of days. Then I strained it and added the chai infused rum to an egg yolk, sugar, vanilla extract and coconut milk mixture that you cook almost like a custard and then chill.
The result is a decadent dessert drink that’s best enjoyed around the holidays. I’ll be bringing mine to a Latin-themed Christmas Eve potluck dinner with friends. Hope everyone’s coming with a designated driver!
Happy cooking and sipping…and happy holidays!
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine’s December 2012 Coquito recipe.)
Makes 6 large or 12 small servings
2 cups dark rum
¼ cup Chai Spices (or your favorite loose leaf chai tea blend)
2-14 oz. cans full fat coconut milk
6 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
1. Place the rum and Chai Spices in a sealed jar and steep for 24 to 48 hours. Strain the mixture and discard the spices. Set the chai infused rum aside until you’re ready to prepare the coquito.
2. Place the coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring it to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
3. Place the egg yolks, sugar and extract together in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
4. Slowly drizzle about half of the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs so they don’t cook into a scrambled mess. Slowly whisk the tempered mixture back into the remaining hot coconut milk and bring it back to a low simmer. Cook for several minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon.
5. Carefully strain the hot mixture through a fine mesh sieve to weed out any clumpy or egg-y bits and then pour it into a large sealable jar. Stir in the chai infused rum, add 1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks and refrigerate overnight.
6. Serve the coquito well chilled (over ice if desired) in small doses with a dash of fresh grated cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick for garnish.