Thursday, 2 January 2014


Rompope is most often described as Mexican eggnog. That's a pretty fair description, though I don't think it's as seasonal a drink as it's eggnog cousin. Commercial versions are widely available, like Baileys it seems to be a staple of duty free lounges. But it's simple to make your own.

There are a couple of approaches to making Rompope and before I started I had a good idea of the type of recipe I was looking for. I have no desire to put condensed milk in it, nether did I want a recipe that omitted the almond and finally I wanted to avoid recipes where the egg is uncooked.

I don't have any prejudice against condensed milk (unlike my mother who is revolted by it!), and I've already made a handful of the vast number of Mexican deserts and sweets that use condensed milk and evaporated milk as a base, but adding it to Rompope seems a bit cheaty to me. It's edging towards add-a-can-of-campbell's-cream-of-mushroom-soup cookery.

The almond is, I think, a necessary addition. (Actually I've purchased versions of the drink made with pine nuts instead of almond - which is coloured pink to differentiate it form the regular pale yellow, almond based drink.) Without the nuts you are left with a boozy, thin custard; a re-purposed eggnog.

Given the above the recipe here from Serious Eats came close to what I was looking for.

  • 2/3 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Rind of 1 lemon (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 to 1 cup aged rum
The recipe calls for the milk to be simmered for 15 minutes with the flavourings and the baking soda, much as if you would do when making cajeta. This was a little more palaver than I thought necessary so I omitted the baking soda, and left the flavourings infuse for 20 minutes in milk that had been brought to a simmer.
Other than that everything was the same. 
Make a paste of the almonds and the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk the almond past egg yolks and remaining sugar together until pale. Strain in the milk infusion slowly and return to a low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Cool and add the brandy.
I'm not sure how long it keeps for. It'll be drank long before that becomes a worry anyway.

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