Rompope, to put it simply, is Mexican eggnog. It’s aromatic, it’s indulgent and so, so satisfying! But, unlike its American cousin, Rompope is made with milk, so while exquisite in taste, it isn’t quite as rich.
Legend has it that it was first concocted and made famous by 17th century nuns at the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico. Today, it is a popular drink not only in Mexico but throughout Central America and is very easily available commercially all through the year in these countries.
I have a wonderful bunch of Latina friends here and every holiday season, they take turns hosting a Christmas party. I always look forward to it, because it usually comes 2 – 3 days after our Open House and it’s nice to have a break. Know what I mean?
Over the years, we’ve had a few different types of Rompope from these ladies, the biggest difference is the use of (or lack of) ground almonds in the mix. I leave out the almonds in ours, preferring the lighter taste without it.
Rompope is quite often served chilled, but on cold winter days, it is absolutely delicious heated up and warms your body through and through – especially if you top up on the brandy! Given its lighter nature, I think Rompope is perfect as a pre-dinner drink or for cocktail hour, provided it’s a whole 30 – 60 minutes before the food is served. Serve in little sherry sized glasses – it’ll keep them coming back for more!
TIP – this recipe uses egg yolks, what to do with the whites? Make some meringues, of course! Egg whites freeze well, so you can always use them another day.
TIP – I only use 6 egg yolks in this recipe, resulting in a pale and creamy drink. Some people will use as many as 20 with the same amount of liquid you find here, giving you a yellow drink with a richer flavour. If you enjoy this recipe, you can always experiment with the number of egg yolks over time.
You will also need 1 or 2 bottles or jugs with lids that have been sterilised, to hold the Rompope when it’s done.
Make the Rompope Ahead
It is best made at least a week ahead, for the flavours to mature, although freshly made tastes awesome too. One of my friends makes it a whole month ahead, I have personally only gone for a week.
- 1 litre (4 cups) whole milk
- 150 g (3⁄4 cup) sugar
- 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla paste/extract
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 egg yolks
- 250 ml (1 cup) brandy (you can reduce or omit)
- Place the milk, sugar, vanilla pod, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg into a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a near boil on medium heat. If not using a pod, add the vanilla right the end with the brandy.
- Keep a very close eye on the milk, don’t let it boil over. When it is just coming to boil, turn the heat right down and simmer for 20 minutes.
- At the end of 20 minutes, take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with handheld beaters for a minute, until pale.
- Pour the milk slowly into the egg yolks, whisking while doing so.
- Return the whole milk and egg yolk mix to the saucepan and bring back to a strong simmer on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. This is when a good heavy bottomed saucepan earns its money, it’ll stop the base of the Rompope from catching.
- Take off heat and cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the brandy and vanilla paste/extract (if not using pod).
- Transfer to sterilised bottles or jars.
- Leave to cool completely before covering with a lid and storing in the fridge for at least a week for the flavours to develop, although it is still delicious freshly made.
- Serve cold or warm with perhaps a sprinkling of cinnamon and icing sugar if you wish.