It's been quite a year, so we may need not one but two traditional holiday drinks to send out 2020 with a bang.
crema de vie
Crema de vie. Photo: Jami Erriquez.

Coquito is Puerto Rican Christmas magic, but its Cuban cousin Crema de vie is super underrated. If the holidays are about calories, we may as well go all in! 

Both drinks are made with rum (of course!), and coquito gets its name from that extra coconut flavor. Make a batch of each and you’ll be toasting from Nochebuena through Año Nuevo.


2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
2 15-oz. cans crème de coco
2 13.5-oz. cans coconut milk 
1 cup spiced rum (whatever rum you have, make sure it’s Puerto Rican)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine (optional)

In a blender, add all the ingredients.  Blend for 2 minutes until everything is combined. 
Chill up to 4 hours or overnight. Store in air-tight containers.

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crema de vie

Cuban Eggnog
Crema de Vie 

6 egg yolks (save the whites for another use)
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup dark rum
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick 
1 lemon peel 

Add sugar, water, lemon peel & cinnamon stick to a medium-sized sauce pan on medium-low heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved about 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool, and discard lemon peel, vanilla bean & cinnamon stick. 

Related Post: That One Time I Got to Make Puerto Sagua’s Cuban Sandwich

In a blender or a stand mixer with whisk attachment, add egg yolks and blend or whisk until the eggs are pale and velvety, 3 minutes on high speed. Add the rum, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix to combine. 

Finally, add the simple syrup slowly (in case it’s still hot or warm). Drizzle in until everything is combined. 

Chill for up to 4 hours or overnight. 

Related Post: Chef Jami’s Magical Cuban Soy Butter Chicken (Pollo a la Barbacoa)

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Jami Erriquez is a part-time chef, food stylist, and an avid cookbook collector from South Florida. She studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Georgia. Her love for cooking came from her father, Danny. She is a traveler, a yogi, and a beach bum, and has been eating Cuban sandwiches and listening to Celia Cruz since she was seven!. When Jami isn't in the kitchen she is binge-watching Golden Girls and hanging out with her family and pet cat, Irma.

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