|COQUITO DE PASCUAS|
Make the season a little more joyful with these spirited concoctions.
Admit it – the holidays are the time of year when you feast on food and drink with nary a guilty thought (until Jan 2). Don’t overlook this chance to indulge in creative cocktails, too. They’re rich, decadent, and oh so worth it. Instead of serving traditional eggnog, give it a Latin twist by adding coconut milk. And Rum Pom Pom Pom, made with pomegranate juice and orange-flavored rum, is the perfect concoction if you’re looking for something a little lighter.
While we’ve come up with a sure-fire list of spirited libations, don’t be afraid to improvise on your own tried-and-true recipes. Let your tastebuds be your guide and enjoy the party.
Coquito de Pascuas
(Coquito of the Holiday Season)
Serve in: small liqueur glasses
Yield: 16 to 20 servings
Throw a little international flare into the mix with this Caribbean staple.
2 cups water
8 cinnamon sticks
6 egg yolks
3 cans evaporated milk
2 cans coconut milk
3 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 cups dark rum
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or pinch of fresh vanilla bean
1 cup toasted coconut
Boil water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Lower the temperature to medium, and cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove cinnamon sticks and cool.
Beat egg yolks and evaporated milk with wire whisk until well-mixed. Add nutmeg and vanilla. Cook in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon. Do not let mixture boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
Combine cooled cinnamon liquid and coconut milk. Stir until integrated. Add cooled yolk mixture, sweetened condensed milk, and rum. Serve when chilled. Garnish each glass with a pinch of toasted coconut.
Rum Pom Pom Pom
Serve in: highball
This drink is perfect because you can prepare it in advance. Mix in a large pitcher.
2 parts pomegranate juice
1 part orange-flavored rum
1 part ginger ale or soda water
Splash of fresh lemon juice
1 bundle fresh mint leaves, to garnish
Mix pomegranate juice, rum, and splash of lemon juice together. If making in advance, add the ginger ale or soda water just before serving. Serve over ice. Garnish with scored mint leaves.
Blue, Blue Christmas
Serve in: champagne flute
Light up the party with this sparkling aqua punch.
2 parts sparkling wine, dry
1 part vanilla vodka
1/2 part blue curacao
1/2 part piña colada mix
Orange twists or curls, to garnish
Combine sparkling wine, vodka, curacao, and piña colada mix in shaker filled with ice. Mix and serve garnished with orange peel.
The Gingerbread Man
Serve in: punch bowl with small glasses
Serve this rich treat in place of dessert at casual get-togethers.
1 part Goldschlager
1 part Irish cream
1 part Kahlua
Dash of caramel liqueur
Mix first 4 ingredients and serve over ice. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.
Spicy Santa >>
Serve in: festive mugs or cups
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Mulled wines and gloggs fill any home with the scent of the holiday season. Make this an hour or so before your guests arrive to tantalize their senses as they step through the doorway.
1 bottle red wine
2 ounces brandy
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup dried apple, finely diced
Extra cinnamon sticks, to garnish
Bring wine and brandy to boil, lower heat, and add sugar and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add dried apple, and simmer at least 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with cinnamon stick (doubles as a stirrer).
Note: Sherry or Madeira can be substituted for brandy. Adjust sugar levels accordingly.
Serve in: holiday mugs or cups
Perfect for cool nights, this chocolaty drink is easy to make in large batches or individual mugs.
3 parts prepared hot cocoa
1 part peppermint schnapps
Top with fresh whipped cream, and garnish with mini-candy cane.