Punch Coco: Caribbean Creole Christmas drink


Having punch coco for Christmas in the Caribbean Creole islands is a tradition, like having eggnog in the USA or mulled wine in the UK. Vanessa Bolosier, author of Creole Kitchen tells us: ‘From the time I was eight years old, and my brother was five, we were allowed a finger of coconut punch every Christmas, which we loved not for the rum, but for its deliciously creamy taste.’

Serves 8–10

200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup white rhum agricole
400ml/14fl oz/1⅔ cups coconut milk
200g/7oz/scant 1 cup condensed milk
150ml/5fl oz/⅔ cup cane syrup
2 pinches grated cinnamon
1 pinch grated nutmeg
grated zest of 1 lime
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthwise

Put the rum, coconut milk, condensed milk and cane syrup in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until rich and thick.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and lime zest. Using a small knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the bowl. Stir until evenly mixed.

Using a funnel, pour the coconut punch into an empty rum bottle and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Shake well before serving.

This is best made with freshly grated cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg, and a fresh vanilla pod. However, you can use ground cinnamon and nutmeg, and replace the vanilla pod with 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

This recipe is extracted from Creole Kitchen by Vanessa Bolosier (Pavilion £25).