Photo by I don't know how she does it

I’ve always enjoyed the company of family and friends, and more so during the holiday season. And although right now we live far away from our loved ones, there are certain traditions from my island that I always hold near to my heart. Rituals like eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve (one grape per chime) in order to have a year full of abundance or the celebration of the “Three Wise Men” are ones we enjoy adding to our list of things to do during the season.

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It is also a custom to prepare a special beverage called “coquito” and bring to family gatherings. This recipe has been passed down several generations and it has been adapted by many based on their taste. Today, I’ll be sharing my take on our traditional “coquito” recipe.

Photo by I don’t know how she does it

I start by preparing a tea of spices by placing ¼ cup of water over high heat with 2 sticks of cinnamon, a teaspoon of cloves and 5 star anise. Let this cool off to room temperature and strain.

After this is ready, I’ll pour this tea into a blender along with one can of coconut milk, one can of condensed milk and one can of evaporated milk. Add 1 cup of rum (you can always eliminate this part or add one additional cup depending on your taste), 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Mix well again and this beverage is ready to pour into a beautiful sterilized bottle with 2 cinnamon sticks inside. It will last up to two weeks on the refrigerator.

Photo by I don’t know how she does it

For an added texture, I love serving this with some unsweetened, organic, shredded coconut, which I have previously toasted.

Photo by I don’t know how she does it

When visiting friends, I like to bring this as a gift to the host with a set of beautiful mini glasses (like these I found at HomeGoods) or small cups. They love the gesture but even more how delicious this beverage tastes.

Cheers to a wonderful Christmas and to a New Year full of many incredible possibilities!

Gloribell Lebron is an interior stylist and designer with a strong background and knowledge in graphic design. She is also a blogger at I Don’t Know How She Does It. (Find her on InstagramPinterestTwitter and Facebook.)

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