Christmas is just around the corner. For someone from the northern hemisphere Christmas is a bit strange. Blistering heat mixed with the typical shopping frenzy doesn’t make for a nice combination. No cozy warm houses with snowflakes outside. Although in Chile the Santa Clauses do wear winter garb and you can find white decorations for windows, trees, as if it had recently snowed. New Years in summer is amazing but Christmas is a bit strange.
Hand in hand with the holiday spirit come food and drink traditions. One of these is the drink Cola de Mono, which means literally Monkey’s Tail. I’ve looked for a good explanation for the name. Except for the zoo and in little’ children’s imagination, there are no monkeys in Chile. So it’s name is not something to be considered descriptive. One person, shortly after my arrival, told me they used to have pet monkey’s stir the drink mixture with their long, boney tail. But I think they are full of it. Another suggestion is that it is stirred by a long wooden spoon, which might have come in the shape of a monkey’s tail.
Name aside it can be a refreshing drink IF it’s a good mixture. Do not for any reason buy this from the supermarket. Make it on your own. It makes all the difference.
As it’s for summer, it should come cold. And you should eat it, according to Chilean tradition, with a slide of Pan de Pascua, Chile’s version of fruit cake. It tastes something like Bailey’s, but should have a little more kick if done right. It’s liquor strength comes from aguadiente, which literally means firewater. It’s a strong liquor usually distilled from grapes in Chile or Peru. So could be Pisco. But we won’t get into that. You could mix another liquor like Rum, Cognac, with (from here):
For four people:
Mix the milk, clove, cinnamon nutmeg and cook to a boil. Cut the heat and mix in the coffee. Then mix in vanilla and booze. Set it in the fridge to cool and serve very cold.
And also worth point out this is one of the items we try on our Go to Market tour. It’s a great recipe!
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