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This easy rompope recipe makes the perfect boozy Mexican holiday drink. Flavored with hints of cinnamon and cloves, you can serve this creamy Mexican eggnog warm or on the rocks.
If you love cozy drinks around the holidays, then this rompope recipe may be just the thing. It’s creamy, silky, and beautifully spiced with hints of vanilla. Rum adds notes of toasted sugar, plus a boozy kick. Simmered until slightly thickened, this classic Christmas drink was a staple in my house growing up.
Why You’ll Love This Rompope Recipe
- Easy. Just mix everything up, then keep an eye on the temperature as the mixture cooks on the stove.
- Quick. Rompope is ready in 30 minutes, making it a perfect spur-of-the-moment Christmas recipe.
- Creamy and delicious. Homemade rompope is incredibly smooth and flavored with classic spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top for a simple, festive touch.
What is Rompope?
Rompope is a holiday drink in Mexico that is sometimes called “Mexican eggnog” in the US. Two of its signature traits are a golden color and rich smoothness. The color comes from the number of egg yolks used (24 to be exact!), while the creaminess comes from a combination of heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk.
Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make rompope with my notes. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts.
- Whole milk – Low-fat milk works too. No plant-based milks, please.
- Heavy cream – If you’re going to skip this, swap it out for more whole milk in the recipe.
- Sweetened condensed milk – This adds decadent creaminess, but granulated sugar or light brown sugar to taste are fine as well.
- Baking soda – Traditional Mexican rompope always has baking soda. See below for more info.
- Cinnamon sticks – You can substitute each cinnamon stick for 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.
- Whole cloves – 1/4 tsp ground cloves or allspice will also do the job.
- Egg yolks – You’ll use 24 of egg yolks in this recipe. You can save the egg whites by freezing them in silicone ice cube trays, similar to how you would freeze buttermilk.
- Ground nutmeg – Allspice is a good substitute if needed.
- Vanilla extract
- Rum – You can also use brandy.
Why Is There Baking Soda in Rompope?
Truthfully? No one knows. Rompope was invented by a 17th century nun in Puebla, Mexico and she is said to have added a “secret ingredient” to her recipe. One theory is that this ingredient was tequesquite, which is a natural mineral salt mined some areas of Mexico, including the Puebla region. Tequesquite is used in traditional Mexican recipes like tamales, but if it’s not available then everyone uses baking soda.
How to Make Rompope
Don’t let the number of egg yolks intimidate you. Making rompope is very simple as long as you keep an eye on the temperature of things.
- Mix the ingredients. In a large pot, combine the milk, heavy cream, whole cloves, condensed milk, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add more condensed milk to taste, but keep in mind that as the rompope reduces, it’ll taste sweeter.
- Simmer. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and immediately reduce to medium-low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and stir continuously to avoid the milk from developing a film.
- Beat the yolks. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool. Place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl. Beat them with a hand-mixer over medium speed for 4-6 minutes or until they turn pale.
- Mix the milk and egg yolks. Once the milk is lukewarm, slowly pour the egg yolks into the pot while whisking vigorously. Don’t stop whisking otherwise there’s a chance the eggs might cook.
- Cook. Place the pot over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes. Stir continuously. When the mixture thickens, remove the pot from the heat.
- Strain. Strain the mixture to remove the spices and any films that may have formed. Don’t skip this step if you want silky, smooth rompope.
- Add the rum and cool. Whisk the rum and vanilla extract into the mixture until well combined. Let the rompope come to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it overnight.
- Serve. Pour and sprinkle with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Enjoy!
Switching things up with rompope is quite simple. All you need to do is add the new flavor profiles either at the beginning or end of the recipe.
- Pine nut rompope. Add the milk to the blender with 3/4 cup peeled, toasted pine nuts. Process until they’re almost fully dissolved. Without straining, pour the mixture into a large pot and begin with the recipe as usual.
- Coffee rompope. Dissolve 2 tbsp of instant coffee into 1/2 cup coffee liqueur. Use the mixture to substitute half of the rum in the recipe.
- Pecan rompope. Blend the milk with 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans until they’re almost fully dissolved. Don’t strain the mixture and add it to a pot. Begin with the recipe.
- Orange rompope. Add 4 orange peels to the milk mixture at the beginning of the recipe. They will infuse their flavor into the warm milk. When it’s time to add the rum, substitute 1/4 cup of it for orange liqueur.
Of course! Just omit it at the end of the recipe, right before refrigerating it. Alcohol-free rompope is kid-friendly too.
You can drink rompope warm or cold, according to your preferences. In either case, add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to make the perfect rompope every time:
- Let it rest. It tastes better after a couple of days, so don’t be afraid to make it in advance and let is chill in the fridge.
- Switch the liqueur. You can also use brandy instead of rum.
- Add star anise. 1/2 star anise pod will add a lovely spicy sweetness.
- Add more alcohol. If you’d like it more boozy, add more rum to taste.
How Long Will It Last?
Homemade eggnog doesn’t last as long as the store-bought kind. Keep it in an airtight container in the back of the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
More Mexican Holiday Recipes
- 5 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk, plus more to taste
- 3 whole cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 24 egg yolks
- 1 cup rum
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg, for garnish
- In a large pot, combine the milk, heavy cream, condensed milk, whole cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, baking soda, and salt. Stir and adjust the sweetness to taste by adding more condensed milk as needed.
- Simmer. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and immediately reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the cinnamon and whole cloves to release their flavor. Stir continuously to avoid the milk from developing a film.
- Beat the yolks. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat them over medium speed for 4-6 minutes or until they turn pale. You can also use a whisk, but it'll require more time and effort.
- Mix the milk and egg yolks. Once the milk is fully cooled or lukewarm, slowly pour the egg yolks into the pot while whisking vigorously. Don't stop whisking in case the milk is still slightly hot, otherwise the yolks will cook.
- Cook. When fully incorporated, place the pot over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes. Stir continuously to prevent the rompope from curdling and developing a film. Remove from the heat when the mixture thickens like syrup.
- Strain. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture to remove the spices.
- Add the rum and cool. Slowly whisk the rum and vanilla extract into the mixture until well combined. Pour it into an airtight container (don't close it) and let it finish cooling at room temperature. Once cooled, add the lid and refrigerate the rompope overnight.
- Serve. Pour it into glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Enjoy!