Christmas isn’t Christmas ‘til You Toast With Rompopo
Does Belize have an official Christmas drink? You bet. It’s called Rompopo and it’s so close to eggnog you could have a hard time telling them apart—-until you ask for seconds!
Even the history of this drink is fascinating. Around the time King Henry VIII considered replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn, Franciscan monks in the New World encouraged nuns to make use of their time by producing a beverage reminiscent of the holiday drink they enjoyed back home in Spain. This mix of eggs, sugars, spices, almonds and rum was called Rompon, but the spelling morphed into Rompope in Belize.
Over time, Belizeans began to alter the recipe, but no matter what went into the drink, Rompopo remained the nation’s official holiday drink. It’s become as important as the annual processional to Midnight Mass, and since nobody drives to that mass if they can avoid it, it’s perfectly acceptable to toast the holiday before leaving home!
Make your own Rompopo
Consult the Ultimate Rum Guide (http://ultimaterumguide.com/belize/) and you’ll discover that the nation is establishing a great reputation for rum making. Rum Howler recognizes the best of the best in Belize rum products, so if you decide to mix your own Rompopo (it really does taste better than pre-mixed products), use a rum made in the country. We swear: your recipe won’t be the same if you substitute.
While we’re on the subject, why would you go to all the trouble of making just one bottle of Rompopo when you can plus up a basic recipe and produce four 750ml bottles? Keep them all. Give them away. When it comes to gift giving, Rompopo is a brilliant choice, whether or not you wrap it.
1. Blend 9 raw eggs using a mixer or blender for 15 minutes.
2. Add 5 cans evaporated milk and blend another 3 minutes.
3. Add 3 cans sweetened condensed milk, 1 pint white rum and 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract.
4. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg over the mix.
5. Blend for 2 minutes to thoroughly integrate ingredients.
6. Chill in a large lidded container or use a funnel to fill four, 750ml bottles.
7. Garnish with more cinnamon powder or a cinnamon stick.
8. Serve with or without ice.
Is there an appropriate Belize toast to accompany Rompopo?
We haven’t found one, though historians tell us that the toasting tradition originated with England’s 17th century monarch, Charles II when he began dipping pieces of spiced toast into glasses of spirits to enhance the flavor. That combination sounds boring and unimaginative. We recommend a platter of garanches instead.