Wishing all my readers a very happy and exotic holiday!
Looking back on 2017, I have so many happy memories and milestones. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my readers.
Everyday Exotic Cocktails is a labor of love. I’ve worked hard to present you with exotic, easy to make cocktails. I’m thrilled to share my tips, tricks and recipes for all the great cocktails I create.
I love connecting with readers who want to entertain at home and make delicious, craft quality cocktails using ingredients easily found in their local grocery and liquor stores.
I try to limit the ingredients to six or less. I’ve read cocktail recipes for years and got tired of thinking that looks like an awesome cocktail but I need three different weird liqueurs, syrups, bitters, etc. that can only be ordered from an expensive speciality website.
I have so many recipes, new books and new events to share in 2018. See you next year and remember to be exotic everyday!
Need a break from busy holiday preparations? Looking for a nice strong cocktail to get you through a holiday party? Want to celebrate the holidays with something tropical?
I live in Florida, so the last question is one posed to me many times by friends and readers of my column. But I’m sure my frozen friends up north have the same tropical cravings when there’s two feet of snow on the ground.
Coquito is the answer to your holiday cocktail dreams. It originates from Puerto Rico and is traditionally served anytime from Thanksgiving until mid-January. Coquito literally translates to ‘little coconut.’ And a little taste of coconut is exactly what you’ll get in this yummy but potent drink.
People make comparisons between Egg Nog and Coquito. I think Coquito is very different from the same old nog we’ve been drinking for years.
Coquito is served cold and frothy. It contains coconut milk and rum among other ingredients. These two main flavors, along with the cold temperature it is served at, make it perfect for a warm Florida holiday.
I like to premix several bottles of Coquito to serve at parties. Then I don’t have to be behind the bar mixing drinks all night. I set up a cute little self serve bar and leave my guests to fill their glasses and garnish the drink themselves.
There are so many different recipes for Coquito. Some use raw eggs, much like traditional egg nog. I’ve chosen to share a version that does not use raw egg. It’s still delicious and easy to make.
So let’s sip some Coquito and have a happy exotic holiday!
Everyday Exotic Coquito
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 15 oz. can coconut cream
3 cups silver Puerto Rican Rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Mix all in a large container, mixing and shaking well. Decant into empty 750 ml liquor bottles and place in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Shake bottle well just before serving.
The island of Martinique is still in hurricane recovery mode from Hurricane Maria which ravaged the island back in September. Rhum Agricole is produced solely in Martinique. In honor of this beautiful island, I committed to making ‘Ti Punch as much as possible.
‘Ti Punch is Martinique’s national drink and a huge part of their daily social life. It is served in cafes and bars all over the island. Everyone has their own method of enjoying it. The ingredients are served separately table side and the drinker is left to create the drink themselves. Some like more lime, less sugar. Others enjoy a touch more sugar and a heavier pour on the rum. Don’t we all love a heavier pour on the rum?
It is a beautifully simple cocktail using just a few ingredients. You could compare it in preparation to an Old Fashioned and in a glass, it closely resembles a daiquiri. However, tastewise it is neither.
A ‘Ti Punch cocktail’s strength is the floral, funky, earthiness of its sugar cane taste. Rhum Agricole is made from fresh sugar cane juice while other types of rum are made mostly from molasses. Along with the second ingredient in this cocktail, Sirrop de Cane – which translates to sugar cane juice, the mighty cane is definitely the star of this drink.
I don’t always have an easy time finding Sirrop de Cane locally so I substitute other types of sugar products. I’ve used raw sugar, raw liquid sugar, Hawaiian sugar and for the recipe I’m sharing today, I used a vanilla simple syrup.
While not a traditional ‘Ti Punch, ‘Ti Punch avec vanille, is still simple and delightful. I love the vanilla flavor that melds with the grassy almost sweet notes of the Rhum Agricole. Don’t be afraid, it’s not too much sweetness, the lime juice adds tartness and the squeezed lime wedges add a touch of sour to the glass.
‘Ti Punch is also traditionally stirred using a swizzle stick or Le Bois LéLé. Fear not if you don’t have one, you can just stir it with a lowly bar spoon or even a teaspoon.
A ‘Ti Punch must be made with Rhum Agricole, no other type of rum is acceptable.
Rhum Agricoles are widely available at most liquor stores in varying price levels. Sample as many as you can, each has a unique often funky flavor. It took me a while to find my favorite and of course it was one of the more expensive choices. But I think it’s totally worth it.
Ti’ Punch avec Vanille
2 wedges of lime
3/4 oz. vanilla simple syrup
2 oz. Rhum Agricole
Add ice to a rocks glass. Squeeze the two lime wedges into the glass and drop the used wedges into the glass. Add the simple syrup and rum. Stir briefly with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a vanilla bean. Enjoy and remember to be exotic everyday!