Cocktails with evaporated milk, condensed milk and coconut milk are the creamy, dreamy sips your guests are craving this winter.
Etiquette experts may reprimand anyone who wears white after Labor Day, but they never said anything about drinking it. Eggnog and its siblings shouldn’t be reserved for a specific holiday, either.
Enjoy one of these shaken or blended libations whose color matches that of the flakes falling outside.
This smoky Scotch version of a Piña Colada was inspired by the first time Girard had a Penicillin cocktail at Diamond Reef in Brooklyn. “I love a Peatacolada in the winter because it's tiki through and through, with a fireplace and wood paneling edge to it,” he says. “It's a snowstorm in a Speedo, it’s frostbite with a side of sunshine.”
- 1 ½ oz. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky
- ½ oz. Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- 1 oz. Coco López
- ½ oz. Velvet falernum
- ½ oz. Crème de cacao
- 6 oz. Unsweetened pineapple juice
- Pineapple fronds, mint leaves, pineapple wedges, brandied cherries and/or lime wheels to garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a blender along with ½ cup of crushed ice. Blend for 15 seconds, then pour the mixture unstrained into a large glass. Garnish with pineapple fronds, mint leaves, pineapple wedges, brandied cherries and/or lime wheels.
Recipe and image courtesy of The Royal
Co-head bartender Alonzo Freeman bemoans the fact that while eggnog is one of his favorite drinks, it’s usually only available during the holidays despite the fact that he thinks it’s perfect all winter long. His Colombian spin adds condensed milk and two types of rum. “You get a little spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg, a little warmth from the rum, and a little sweetness from the condensed milk,” he says. “The drink comes out surprisingly light, but even more surprising is how strong you can make the drink without it tasting overly-boozy.”
- 1 cup Dark spiced rum
- 1 cup Light rum
- 6 cups Whole milk
- ½ cup Raw sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 6 Egg yolks
- 4 tbsp. Cornstarch (more of less depending on how thick or thin you’d like it to be)
- 1 can Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- Ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg to garnish
Place 5 cups of the milk along with the sugar and vanilla in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce it to low heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl, blend the rest of the milk, salt, cornstarch, egg yolks, condensed milk and cinnamon. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the original milk mixture and stir well. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until slightly thickened (about 8-10 minutes). Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. Strain it through a sieve, pour it into a serving pitcher and let cool completely. Stir in the rum, and serve in glass tea cups topped with either ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg. Recipe makes 12 servings.
The Winter White
Recipe and image courtesy of The Polo Bar
Think of this drink like a creamy mulled rum. Licor 43 from Spain gives it notes of vanilla, citrus and spice, while Bénédictine adds distinctive herbal notes. You can make it in a larger batch, keep it simmering on the stove, and add the steamed half and half when you serve it.
- 1 oz. Pyrat Rum
- ½ oz. Licor 43
- ½ oz. Bénédictine
- Steamed half and half to top
- Grated nutmeg to garnish
Warm the first three ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Top with steamed half and half to taste, and garnish with the grated nutmeg.
Recipe and image courtesy of Bacardí
This traditional beverage hailing from Puerto Rico lends comparisons to eggnog; the main difference is that it doesn’t contain any eggs. But it’s definitely rich and creamy from the addition of evaporated and condensed milks and coconut cream. For a spicier flavor, add a sprinkle of ground cloves.
- 2 oz. Bacardí Superior Rum
- ¾ oz. Evaporated milk
- ¾ oz. Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 oz. Coco López
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Sprinkle of ground cloves, if desired
- Coconut flakes and cinnamon stick to garnish
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a glass mug and garnish with the coconut flakes and a cinnamon stick.
Recipe and image courtesy of Bahama Breeze
“Coquito, a staple in Puerto Rican holiday celebrations, is favored in the winter months due to its creamy texture and flavor profile of vanilla, clove and cinnamon,” says Cindy Busi, director of beverage purchasing. “Combined with the rich, sweet flavor of rum, it makes for an indulgent cocktail that lends itself well to a season of celebrations and social gatherings.”
- 4 oz. Castillo Silver Rum (in the Bacardí portfolio)
- 6 oz. Evaporated milk
- 6 ½ oz. Coconut milk
- 5 oz. Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 oz. Coco López
- ⅛ tsp. Ground cinnamon to garnish
Combine the rum, Coco López, evaporated milk, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk in a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain it into four chilled cocktail glasses and garnish with cinnamon. Recipe makes four servings.
Coconut Milk Eggnog
Recipe and image courtesy of Merriman’s
“At Merriman's the emphasis is always on using fresh local ingredients, so to elevate eggnog to the level of sophistication that we aspire to, we make it more Hawaiian by using coconut milk, and we finalize the cocktail with very high-quality spirits,” explains mixologist Jim Lunchick.
- 13 ½ oz. Coconut milk
- 6 oz. Whole milk
- 3 Whole eggs
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. Ground cinnamon
- 2 oz. Licor 43
- 2 oz. Old Forester Bourbon
- Fresh whipped cream and ground nutmeg to garnish
Blend the first six ingredients on high speed for a full minute. Whisk it over a double-boiler until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and chill overnight. For each serving, shake 6 oz. of the eggnog mix with ½ oz. Licor 43 and ½ oz. Old Forester Bourbon, pour it into a carved coconut, and garnish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg. Recipe makes four servings.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.