Today, I'm bringing a bit of Chilean holiday cheer to your cup with my take on Cola de Mono, a festive drink that's a staple during Christmas time in Chile. This delightful concoction is traditionally enjoyed during the holiday season and is often compared to eggnog, but with a coffee twist.
The name, which translates to "Monkey's Tail," is as intriguing as the drink itself. The story goes that it was named after a Chilean president who loved his coffee with a kick of alcohol, but the real origins remain a charming mystery.
Let's talk about making this festive treat. I start with a base of evaporated milk, infused with cloves and cinnamon sticks, gently simmered to draw out all those aromatic flavors. Next, I add a combination of instant coffee, sugar, and a splash of vanilla paste.
But the real magic happens when I mix in a good shot of brandy (Chilean Aguardiente is the go-to liqueur if you can get your hands on it), giving it that signature holiday spirit. A pinch of sea salt and freshly grated nutmeg rounds off the flavor profile. After chilling in the fridge, it’s ready to serve – topped with foamed milk - kinda like a macchiato vibe. It's more than a drink; it’s a festive experience, perfect for sipping while unwrapping gifts or sharing stories by the fireplace.
Evaporated Milk, 230g
Cinnamon Sticks, 2 + More For Serving
Granulated Sugar, 25g
High Quality Instant Coffee Preferably Little's, 5g + More For Serving
Pure Vanilla Paste, 1/2 TSP
Chilean Aguardiente / White Rum / Brandy / Vodka, 60g
Sea Salt, Pinch
Nutmeg Freshly Grated, Pinch + More For Serving
Whole Milk, For Frothing
Cinnamon Powder, For Serving
In a sauce pot over low heat, add milk, cloves and cinnamon.
Stir to combine well.
Bring it up to a very slow simmer.
Cook for 15 mins.
*The milk should be barely simmering.*
A layer of cooked milk should form on the surface.
Give it a stir to loosen up.
Add in sugar and coffee.
Stir until well combined and until the sugar and coffee have dissolved.
Add in vanilla, rum, salt and nutmeg.
Stir to combine well.
Strain into a small pitcher, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs.
Discard all the residue.
When about to serve, froth just enuff milk to create foam.
Pour the chilled coffee mixture into a serving glass.
Top with milk foam.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Dust some coffee, cinnamon powder and nutmeg over the top.