When December arrives, Hispanics find that a particular sweet drink - with a silky texture, ivory color and a taste reminiscent of grandmother´s kitchen - is the perfect companion for a long get-together with family and friends after a holiday feast.
This is so because the magic touch of rum raises the spirits and extends the celebration.
Rompope, a Mexican elixir
A little bit of history: The nuns were in charge of entertaining their important guests by creating elaborate dishes, desserts and drinks, and for one of these eventsm within the convent of the Clarisa nuns in Puebla de los Angeles, Mexico, a tastty beverage was developed consisting of the simpliest of ingredients, such as eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.
A sort of an urban legend says that a nun named Eduviges was in charge of this drink called Rompope - a type of eggnog - and to which rum was added; the drink itself was forbidden to the nuns, but Eduviges had special permission to taste it.
Ponche Crema, a symbol of Venezuela identity
In 1900, Eliodoro González P., a Venezuelan chemist, patented something unique: Ponche Crema, a drink like eggnog that was made of milk, eggs, sugar and a mixture of pure grape alcohol.
Despite the fragility of the drink´s ingredients, all 100 percent natural, the beverage remains unaltered for up to two years after being produced and bottled, even with no chemical additives for preservation.
Coquito, the sweetest drink of the Caribbean
From Puerto Rico emerged Coquito, a hybrid of Mexican Rompope and Venezuelan Ponche Crema, but with a magical additive: Coconut cream.
For Puerto Ricans, there is not Christmas without Coquito.
Whether it is Rompope, Ponche Crema or Coquito, Hispanic punches are brimming with history and flavors ... ¡Salud!