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December 14, 2018

Creamy Holiday Drinks Take in Mangoes

Most are aware of my love of a good challenge in the kitchen (and beyond),  as I mention often in my blog posts, but I don’t like to force mangoes into holiday recipes just for the sake of it. It either works or it doesn’t work and I tend to move on rather quickly if the ideas don’t appear naturally. This year while whipping up a batch of my famous Middle Eastern Eggnog, I had one of those AH HAH moments (thanks Oprah) in adding mangoes to festive holiday creamy drinks like eggnog. Even better was the notion that by simply adding mango puree, you could transform any frothy beverage, holiday or otherwise.   Which got me thinking about Coquito, a recipe on my mango to do list.

Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican  creamy drink that is beloved on the island and obsessed over during Christmas.  Its sensationally creamy eggnog, without eggs, and very sweet, made with  sweetened condensed milk  and evaporated milk and coconut milk. It’s very tropical naturally and adding mangoes to it seemed normal. My  mango version, makes the drink feel less sweet, by the  depth added with mango puree, the tiny bit of natural acids naturally balance out the sugars or help.  It’s also the perfect cheery alternative for those who are fearful of the raw eggs in a traditional eggnog.

Which ever creamy holiday beverage satisfies you, the addition of mangoes is sure to impress you.

My version of both is made with toasted spices, an optional step that deliveres amazing results!

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

Middle Eastern Spiced Eggnog with Mangoes

 Makes  about ½ gallon


4 green cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns or 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cinnamon stick (Ceylon preferred) or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg or ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup raw sugar
7 large eggs (fresh, local and pasture-raised strongly preferred), separated
3/4 cup mango puree
2 cups organic whole milk
3 cups organic heavy cream
⅓ cup bourbon
⅓ cup aged rum
⅓ cup brandy or cognac


Prepare the spice blend first. If you are using pre-ground spices, mix them together in a small bowl. If you are using whole spices, remove the seeds from the cardamom pod and place the seeds in a mortar with pestle with the whole black pepper. Grate in ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (I use a Microplane grater) and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg. Pulverize the spices with the pestle until finely ground.

Place the egg yolks, mango puree, spices and sugar in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer on the low setting, beat until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the milk and cream and blend on low until smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. Add in the booze and stir.

Place the eggnog in a gallon Mason jar with lid, or a pitcher and cover with plastic wrap. Whatever container you use should have ample room to fold in the egg whites.

Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until semi-stiff peaks form, about 5–6 minutes. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the base. Chill, covered, for 36 to 48 hours before digging in.

Eggnog will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator, and it does get better with age.


Mango Coquito

Makes about ½ gallon


1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon, whole cloves
1 vanilla bean (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can coconut cream
1 (12 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup mango puree, thin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1  1/3 cup  dark, aged rum


Toast the cinnamon stick, cloves and vanilla bean in a cast iron pan for about a minute, using a wooden spoon to stir around the pan to ensure they don’t burn.

Combine all ingredients in a big gallon jug or container with a lid and let sit, refrigerated, for 3-4 days and up to 7.

Remove the cinnamon stick cloves and vanilla bean and whisk before serving.


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