Help Daisy Martinez Find This Year’s Coquito Master

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Photo: Carolina Penafiel

With all the fuss about eggnog (eggnog cupcakes! eggnog custard! eggnog gelato! eggnog soap! plus an eggnog history, and a low-fat eggnog experiment!), you wouldn’t know that it’s also coquito season. That being the Puerto Rican version, traditionally made with yolks, coconut cream, coconut milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. And, of course, rum. Salud offers it as a “liquid dessert,” and Sazon and Sofrito are currently serving it for $8 as well, but for a taste of the homemade stuff, put on some stretch pants and head down to the Museo del Barrio this Saturday from 6:30 till 9 p.m. At the annual Coquito Tasting Contest, you'll be able to help determine this year’s Coquito Master. The contestants were culled from seven qualifying events, so rest assured they know their way around heavy cream, but if you’re scared off by having to sign a waiver, you can always just make coquito at home using this recipe from one of the judges, Daisy Martinez. It’s reprinted from Daisy's Holiday Cooking, recently published by Atria.

Coquito and “Choquito”
Makes about 8 cups

2 jumbo eggs
3 jumbo egg yolks
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
One 15-ounce can cream of coconut (Coco López or other)
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ to 1 cup light rum
Ground cinnamon, for serving

1. Put the eggs and yolks in a blender jar. Blend at high speed until the eggs are pale yellow and very light. With the motor running, add the condensed milk, cream of coconut, and evaporated milk, one at a time and each in a very thin stream. Blend for a minute or so, then add the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. Blend just until incorporated. If your blender jar becomes too full, simply pour some of the coquito-in-progress out into a serving pitcher and continue adding the milk/cream to what's left in the blender. When finished, pour what’s in the blender jar into the serving pitcher and stir all together. Stir in the rum.
2. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours. Serve in little coffee or tea cups and sprinkle a little cinnamon over the coquito before serving.

Variation: “Choquito”
Prepare the coquito as described above. Before chilling it, heat ½ cup heavy cream in a medium
saucepan until little bubbles form around the edges and the cream is steaming. Add 1½ cups
bittersweet chocolate chips, let stand for a minute or two, then whisk until the chocolate is
melted and smooth. Whisk about 2 cups of the coquito into the chocolate cream, then whisk
that mix into the coquito. Chill and serve as above.

9th Annual Coquito Tasting Contest [El Museo]