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Makes about 2 quarts
I've heard this drink referred to as Puerto Rican eggnog a lot, but based on how I was taught to make it I think that's a misnomer. My version involves opening a lot of cans, is egg-free, and thanks to the Cara blend, is about one of the easiest things you'll ever make.
1 (15 ounce) can sweetened coconut cream (Coco Lopez is a common brand)
1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
15 ounces Puerto Rican rum (prefer Ron del Barrilito 2 Star, or failing that Don Q Gold)
Pinch of salt, or to taste
In a sink or large bowl run the cans under hot water to liquefy the contents, it will make them easier to work with. Give them about 15 minutes.
Mix the Cara and rum in a microwave-safe glass container and heat on high for 90 seconds. Let steep for another 90 seconds and then fine-strain.*
Open the cans and add the contents to a large pitcher or mixing bowl with a spout. Use the rum to rinse the cans to get any excess out.
Mix everything well, taste, and add a bit of salt if you like. Store in tightly sealed bottles in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. They make great homemade gifts!
* If you don't have a microwave you can gently heat the rum in a sealed container in the sink with the cans. Give it the full 15 minutes. I do not recommend heating alcohol over an open flame as it's a fire hazard, but if you have an induction cooktop you can use that just fine.
Instead of discarding it, add remaining rum-infused Cara that you strained out can be added to a braise or to ice cream base, it will still have great flavor.
Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract for a rounder and woodsier flavor.
• Alcohol free: Brew a tea using 16 ounces of boiling water and 4 teaspoons of Cara. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then fine strain and substitute for the spiced rum. Please note that the final result will be more perishable due to the lack of alcohol, but should be fine for at least a week refrigerated.
• You can play with using other blends to flavor the coquito. I've had good results with: Orchidea N34, Reims N39, and Yemen N10. If you'd like to build a blend from scratch I suggest looking at: cinnamon, mace, and star anise to start. Because you infuse the spirit, you can experiment with small batches and mix them in to the base to experiment.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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