What an exhausting year 2020 has been. Did anyone else think this year was going to continue to drag us down forever, or was it just me? Despite how hectic this godforsaken year may have been, we are finally at the end of it. Somehow we made it through toilet paper shortage, failed attempts at making dalgona coffee, and swaying away from the feeling of impending doom on a daily basis. Well, the feeling of impending doom has been ever-present for me, but that’s not the point here.
Perhaps the most difficult part of enduring a worldwide pandemic was the continuous pursuit of recreating any semblance of normalcy or pre-Covid times. This made people creative.
Birthday parties and engagements became intimate Zoom calls. Social gatherings were cautious and often filled with plenty of anxiety. Well, at least at the beginning of the pandemic. We didn’t know how to act around anyone. It’s almost as if we forgot how to act for the sake of survival.
However, the holidays are allowing many of us to show some warmth after being locked away for most of the year.
I’m actually surprised that there is some holiday spirit left considering everything that has transpired in the last few months. But it doesn’t seem like I’m the only one ready to spread some positivity.
The issue is that our bank accounts are feeling vulnerable and we don’t have a lot of energy to concoct a “Christmas Miracle.” Hell, if you’re like me, the procrastination of any holiday preparation took over, leaving you with limited gift options.
How can we show our appreciation with only a few days before Nochebuena? Is it even possible? Do we even have time for a last-minute gift at this point? Well, may I suggest a bottle of coquito?
Oh, yes. Coquito — a Puerto Rican holiday delicacy.
Its silky texture caresses your lips once you take that first sip. The fragrant aroma of cinnamon serves as a reminder of better days, while the subtle taste of spiced rum dances with the holiday spirit that had stayed away for too long.
A bottle of coquito may symbolize the admiration you have for someone. It’s a concoction that can only be perfected with the right amount of love. It’s thoughtful, inexpensive, and filled with history.
I’ll be honest, I was deprived of coquito for most of my life as my Colombian culture calls for other traditions. However, once I was exposed to it, I knew this drink must be shared with anyone worthy of my time.
So, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite coquito recipes. This is a recipe that is used by my Puerto Rican partner and her family.
Before you dive into the recipe, please keep in mind that there are many ways to make coquito. Some even add eggs to it. Yet, this doesn’t mean that there is one true way to make it — all coquito recipes are valid. Or, so I’m told.
The following is the coquito recipe. I hope all of you are able to enjoy it.
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of coconut cream (not to be confused with coconut milk)
1 can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of Bacardi Rum or Palo Viejo Rum
Powdered cinnamon (you can add as much as your heart desires into your coquito)
You’ll want to mix all these ingredients well in a big container. You can also blend it. Once you do this, pour it into a bottle. The bottle can be store-bought or you can reuse any glass bottle you may have laying around in your place. Make sure you wash it first, though! As for the final step, add one stick of cinnamon inside the bottle. This adds to the aesthetic of your coquito bottle as well as intensifies its flavor.
By now, everyone should be aware of the rules in place. Social distancing is a must, large gatherings are selfish and irresponsible, and masks are to be worn no matter what. So, it is a no-brainer to know that this gift should be shared in a socially distanced environment. Although, leaving outside the door of your loved ones and joining them in Zoom call can also be a safe alternative. Remember, you don’t want to jeopardize the safety of anyone or yours for that matter.