Words by Jesse Serwer—
Here at LargeUp, we love ourselves some coquito. We’ve ranked it near the top of our Toppa Top 10 Caribbean rum creams, against some pretty stiff competition. We’ve got our own recipe, tried and tested at our first annual LargeUp Coquito Party last year.
So we’re fairly well astounded that we’re just now hearing of the International Coquito Tasting Federation and its annual Coquito Masters contest for the first time. New York’s Deborah Quinones started the holiday mix-off in 2001, after a close family friend who had been the traditional coquito maker of for her circle passed away. The only solution in Quinones’ mind was to encourage friends and family to bring their versions of the creamy Puerto Rican holiday cocktail to her annual ‘tree trimming’ party, to find out which could be deemed a worthy successor. This eventually grew into an annual, open-to-the-public contest, complete with preliminaries held around NYC, leading up to the main event. These days, winning might even get you into the New York Times.
Well, the cream of the coquito crop has risen to the top, and 10 top-level recipes have been selected. This year’s Coquito Masters Finals will be held at the The Bronx Museum of the Arts, on Thurs., Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m, and the event is free.