Every final del año, the whole island of Puerto Rico goes crazy for coquito, our Puerto Rican eggnogg. We start pulling out cans of coconut creams and milks from the back of our pantries. But in the beginning, way back in el año de las guácaras, our Boricua ancestors kicked off a coquito celebration by knocking down fresh cocos from el palo and scraping out the rich coco meat.
That’s still how Pat Murphy, my Boricua-born husband, makes his coquito every Christmas. People might think the real coconut part is what makes it difficult, but he feels it’s authentic and worth the effort. He also makes it without the real coconuts sometimes, and to be honest with you, I like it better that way…. LOL! (but don’t tell him that). Here’s his old-school recipe.
For more Puerto Rican recipes by Michelle and Pat, check out these delicious dishes, many of them Familia Kitchen Recipe Contest winners. They now live far away from the Caribbean in landlocked Arizona, but they crave Cuban and Puerto Rican food—often—and are willing to put in the time and effort to achieve the mouth-watering depth of flavor at home. You’ll often find them cooking criollo dishes like Pat’s Titi Rosa’s arroz con pollo, culling through 30 recipes to make the ultimate Cuban ropa vieja, baking empanadas de picadillo, and most sumptuous and time consuming of all: making from-scratch holiday pasteles made with yautía, green bananas and pork for the holidays.
Seriously: try them all. Beginning with Pat’s coquito!