Oh, rompope—you righteous seasonal treat, you have an exceptionally long story. Rompope is a distant descendant of the medieval posset, an interesting concoction of wine or beer, cream, sugar, and egg thickened with bread, biscuits, oatmeal, or almond paste that was enjoyed by medieval monks in the 13th century.
Over time, the eggnog-like beverage became very popular among the medieval aristocracy and feudal elites, since milk, eggs, sherry, and spices were foods of the wealthy, reserving the drink for the occasional toasts to prosperity and good health. By 1700, eggnog finally gained approachability when it made its way to the American colonies, where farms supplied milk and eggs and where Caribbean rum was plentiful.
Eggnog has been around for centuries, but what about rompope? Well, rompope is a derivation of Spanish ponche de huevo and dates back to colonial times. Rompope was first concocted by seventeenth-century nuns in the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico. According to legend, Sister Eduviges was in charge of making rompope, a drink forbidden to nuns, but allowed to her exclusively during its cooking process. The rich and creamy drink was so delicious that Sister Eduviges requested that the nuns be allowed to drink the rompope they were only permitted to make assuring the archbishop that “a little glass a day doesn’t hurt anybody”.
At last, the Poor Clares’ rompope became so popular that it became the order’s main source of income, taking over the profits obtained through the sale of mole, chocolate, and other popular sweets. Following its origin, rompope flourished throughout Latin America resulting in an array of regional variations such as Puerto Rican coquito, Chilean cola de mono, and Colombian sabajón, to name a few.
Rompope is a warming bright yellowish wintertime drink that combines milk, egg yolks, sugar, spices, and alcohol. Traditionally, a mixture of milk, sugar, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and baking soda is brought to a boil. Once cold, fluffy whisked egg yolks are added slowly until all ingredients are completely combined. The frothy mixture is brought to a boil once again and finally, a dash of rum or cane alcohol is stirred into the concoction. Even though ingredients and quantities vary significantly between recipes, the original recipe called for those five ingredients and followed that precise cooking process.
Even though the kingship between rompope and eggnog is indisputable, there is a slight difference between these two hearty drinks: The traditional eggnog recipe called for whole eggs, whereas rompope just called for egg yolks—hence the very distinctive hues of each drink. Plus, rompope is not a divisive drink at all—unlike eggy eggnog! Rompope is a deliciously creamy, nutty, and sweet cozy drink. Whole eggs or plain egg yolks, both drinks are embedded in our holiday traditions.
Try some rompope at home! It’s not hard to make and you could find an enticing alternative if you are not an eggnog fan. Here are three recipes to guide you to rompope bliss: