Every family has its family traditions. Some of us make cookies, some of us have certain books we always read or movies we always watch. I know we like to watch "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" every year in my house. My best friend's family watches the "Invader Zim" Christmas special every year. They also make a ham every year. I don't eat meat, and my family tends to do a big Christmas breakfast as opposed to a dinner. However, my family also loves to drink eggnog. We have a particular place we always buy it from that has our favorite taste. It's a chain gas station that's mostly in New York called "Stewart's."
When I moved to Orlando, I had to miss out on some of my usual family traditions because my family was across the world. However, I got to make amazing new friends with their own family traditions to share with me. One of my closest friends, Pablo, a Puerto Rico native, taught me about a holiday beverage called Coquito. Coquito means "little coconut" and is often referred to as the "Puerto Rican Eggnog". Which makes sense since it's very similar to my family's beloved eggnog. It's a traditional Puerto Rican concoction that Pablo and his family usually make every year together. So, this year, we made it together instead, and my friend taught me step by step how to prepare this delicious drink!
It's very rich and preferably for adults, but it can be for all ages if you omit one (key) ingredient. So here's what you'll need: ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, anise stars, cloves, coconut milk, sweetened and condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream of coconut, and rum! You can omit the rum if you want to make it a drink for the whole family. You can get any of these ingredients at Publix, all save the rum. However, my Publix has a liquor right next door so, for me, it's pretty much one-stop shopping.
Once you get the ingredients, you take it all home to put it all together. First, you start by mixing all of your canned ingredients into a bowl. Then, separately, boil a cup of water with the anise stars, the cinnamon sticks, and the cloves. Once it's come to a rolling boil, remove it from the heat and strain your spices out of the water. Add the spiced water to your milky mixture. Then add your (optional) rum to taste. Cool to serve and garnish with the ground cinnamon!! My friend told me that this is traditionally enjoyed around the holidays, but I'm sure it's good at any time of year. We made it for Thanksgiving, and I plan on making it again for Christmas! I may even show my family back home. I'm not sure I'll convert them from the eggnog lovers that they are, but it's nice to have something new to add to my repertoire for the Christmas season!