I read somewhere that when you move to another country, one of the things that you miss the most is the food from your homeland. You can adapt to the new climate, culture, and customs, but your taste for the food back home can never be replaced. Sadly, it can sometimes be hard to recreate those meals, since not all of the ingredients are available to you. For us, one of the things we missed from Mexico was Rompope, a drink very similar to Eggnog. In Mexico, it is readily available at most supermarkets and liquor stores, but it is not sold here in the States. It didn’t seem to hard to make, so one day I gave it a shot, and the results were really good!
Rompope is a famous drink from the City of Puebla, in the state of the same name. Its origins go all the way back to colonial times, when the nuns of the Santa Clara Content used to prepare it for the priests and other religious authorities of the Catholic Church. Over time, the drink’s popularity surpassed the convent walls, and the nuns sold it as a means of income, along with Mole paste, candies, and other items that they prepared. Nowadays, Rompope (along with Tequila and Mezcal) has a privileged place among traditional Mexican drinks.
A basic recipe for Rompope includes milk, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and some sort of alcohol. The different flavorings are nutmeg, vanilla, almonds, pecans, orange blossom water, clove, pine nuts and even pistachios.
I hope you enjoy this drink with your friends and family this holiday season.
- 4 cups (1 liter) of whole milk
- 1 cup (250 grams) sugar
- 1 pinch of baking soda
- 1 stick of Mexican Cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 12 egg yolks (from large size eggs)
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup (118 ml ) Rum or Brandy**
- * You can adjust the amount of nutmeg to your personal taste. Usually a pinch of ground nutmeg will be enough for most.
- ** The same concept applies to the amount of alcohol: you can reduce or increase the amount to fit your liking.
1. Mix milk, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, nutmeg and the pinch of baking soda in a saucepan and stir. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, allowing the milk to absorb the cinnamon and cloves’ flavors.
2. Turn off the heat and remove saucepan from stove to cool.
3. While the milk is cooling, beat the egg yolks until they are a pale yellow. You can use you mixer if you want for this step.
4. Slowly pour the egg yolk mix into the already cooled milk and stir. Once it is completely incorporated, place saucepan back on the stove and turn the heat on to medium-high, stirring frequently. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently to avoid curdling, for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to become thick.
5. Remove from heat and pass through a sieve to remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add rum or brandy, and mix well. Pour into another container with a lid and let it cool for a couple of hours and refrigerate. The Rompope will taste best if you let the flavors combine, by storing it in the fridge for 2 weeks. But you can use it right away.
Serve sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.