Culture

Here’s The History Of The Rivalry Between Coquito and Crème de Vie

All Latinx folks know that the holidays aren’t the holidays without those trademark winter drinks. The Navidad beverage spectrum is definitely extensive—from ponche caliente to champurrado to canelazo—but two of the most beloved holiday beverages are, sin duda, crème de vie and coquito. These two creamy concoctions are super similar (in the US, crème de vie is sometimes called “Cuban eggnog,” while coquito is known as “Puerto Rican eggnog”), but both drinks have their own fascinating (and mysterious) histories, histories that manifest in seemingly infinite variations at holiday fiestas every year.

Crème de Vie and coquito are sometimes compared to “eggnog” in modern US culture because eggnog is a quintessentially American drink (just think about how famously dairylicious the Midwest is). 

Credit: Pinterest

Most historians believe that eggnog is a relative of a medieval drink called “posset”—a British beverage of curdled hot milk mixed with wine, ale, and spices that was brought over during the 18th century. At the time, brandy and wine were heavily taxed, so rum from the Caribbean was often imported in large, less expensive quantities. Rum, then, was popularly paired with the abundant dairy products cultivated by the colonists, and traditional US eggnog was born.

Some iteration of “eggnog”—used here as a loose term to describe cross-culturally creamy, dairy-based alcoholic winter beverages—is present in just about every Central and South American country. Mexico’s “rompope” adds cinnamon, while Peru’s “biblia con pisco” uses—you guessed it!—pisco instead of rum. But we’re here to talk about crème de vie and coquito, so let’s get to it.

Coquito got its name from its primary ingredient: the coconut.

Credit: Pinterest

With coconut milk and coconut cream as a base, coquito is one of the richest, most delectable tonics one could ever put to their lips. It’s made with Puerto Rican rum, sweetened condensed milk, and other spices (usually vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves). It’s definitely sweet (and is typically served after dinner as a chupito), but it’s balanced out by the warming winter spices. Altogether, it is a well-rounded and deeply indulgent chilly day treat.

The origins of coquito are a bit mysterious, though there are two main theories that propel the imagination deep into its delicious past. Many people postulate that coquito is an outcome of colonization, when the Spanish infiltrated the island back in the early 1500s and brought their traditional version of eggnog with them. Others believe that Coquito is the younger cousin of American eggnog, emerging as a clever way for Puerto Ricans to imbibe during Prohibition (the idea is that the coconut fat could somehow disguise the alcohol, though if you’ve ever smelled a strong glass of coquito, that seems pretty dubious). The most likely source of Coquito is simply Puerto Rico’s abundance of its primary ingredients: coconuts and sugar.

Sugar has been cultivated in Puerto Rico since the 16th century, and its production skyrocketed in the 19th century. Although rum was certainly drunk in Puerto Rico before the 1600s, it did not take hold as an industry on the island until sugar did (rum wouldn’t be rum without sugar, after all). Some people hypothesize that the introduction of sweetened and evaporated milk came from American soldiers, who were familiar with these products after consuming them during wartime.

While we may never know the true origins of this incredible tonic, we can continue to savor coquito at holiday parties until the end of time.

And Crème de Vie? First of all: why “crème de vie” and not “crema de vie?” The answer is just as uncertain as the drink’s history. For some reason, “crème de vie” is used more commonly written, though it’s often pronounced “crema de vie” anyway.

No matter how you shake it, the name translates to “Cream of Life,” and if you’ve ever had this luscious winter cocktail, you know how perfect this translation truly is.

Credit: Pinterest

Crème de Vie differs from Coquito in a very important way: it does not contain coconut, but it still carries a Caribbean flare. It’s quite a bit sweeter, with a base of evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, raw egg yolk, and rum (spiced rum tends to be a bit more festive). Like coquito, it’s also garnished with vanilla, cinnamon, and other warming spices, and usually garnished with nutmeg or a full cinnamon stick—but the truth is, it’s different in every family, so your experience might not fit this description exactly!

The history of crème de vie is also unclear, with some people believing it to be borne of either the Spanish conquest or US influence. What we do know is that it is often bottled up and given as a gift for Navidad, and like coquito, it’s generally sipped after dinner as an aperitif.

The history of these drinks may be uncertain, but their popularity in the present is growing rapidly, with competitions like the Coquito Masters drawing national attention to their cultural significance. If your family doesn’t make either one, give it a try this year—you’ll be so glad you did.

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Guys Talk About The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts To Give Last Minute

Fierce

Guys Talk About The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts To Give Last Minute

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to cue the balloons, bouquet of red roses and pink and heart everything! The truth is, even as one of the most manufactured and cheesy holidays, Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful way to remind the person in your life that you love them.

And while it often seems like the pressure has to solely be on one partner, it’s also a time of year for us all to step up.

Fortunately, Reddit is teeming with ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for men.

Check it out below!

“I was in college (22M). I a girl I had known since high school had a crush on me and I could tell. She was a student at the same university and we would occasionally meet our group of friends for lunch. This little gathering had gone on for several semesters and we all knew each other quite well. This girl had a really rough life and a learning disability that prevented her from reading social situations and advancing in her studies. I had been trough an incredibly difficult break up the previous semester and was looking at a lonely Valentine’s day. I am not sure if she was told by a mutual friend or if she took her own initiative but she got me a little sucker bouquet in a coffee mug for me. I have a really bad sweet tooth and am a coffee addict so this was the perfect gift. We ended up getting lunch just the two of us and had a great time. I will always remember how much fun I had.” –Brighter_Lighter

“My girlfriend made me a comic book of us and all of our adventures. Yes I cried.” –FireButchJones

“When I first started dating my now fiance, we worked together, along with her ex. When he found out we were dating he tried talking to me in the breakroom, and casually talked shit, saying shes clingy, etc. Then he said “You know, I would tell you some more stuff but im afraid you’d chirp (while making a talking hand gesture)”. He tried to act ghetto to the point where I was embarrassed for him. That became an inside joke between me and her, and I started saying stuff mockingly, like ‘Im gonna chirp up in this bitch’ and ‘Im chirping in the trap.’ Then it turned into us creating comics back and forth called “The Adventures of Chirp and Trap”. Everyday one of us would draw a comic, and the other would continue the story. Chirp was a bird who usually wore either a cowboy hat or a Rambo outfit, and Trap was a bird in a cage. I think we still have them somewhere, but one of the funniest ones was Chirp having to rescue Trap from a Dothraki horde.” –Treegs

Every year, my mom makes this cookie cake with chocolate and strawberries and it’s the best thing ever. That’s the only ‘gift’ I’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s day (so far) Edit: forgot to take a picture of the first one but luckily she made an extra mini one this year. This is the first time she’s added the white chocolate, and it’s usually in the shape of a heart, but here it is.” –Zaquarius_Alfonzo

“Not a gf, but one time my parents bought me a box of slim jims as a kid and it lasted me until May. Was great.

I’ll marry the next woman who buys me a big ass box of slim jims.” –

SleeplessShitposter

“My parents would get me valentines day presents all the time! One year was a restaurant sized tub of ketchup (since I really loved ketchup at the time). It was both useful and fun! Though we threw it out before I finished it off, because the bottom of the tub was beginning to be a bit… off.

I’ve never gotten anything for valentines day not from my parents.” –

FlameFrenzy

“A letter telling me all that she loves about me and how I treat her. It was the best. Her birthday was a couple of days after so it was very hard making her feel loved and appreciated like I felt when I gave her a shitty valentines gift.

The second best has to be nothing (different partner). Literal nothing. I bought her some of her favorite candy. But it was great because it really showed how our relationship was and I knew she wasn’t the right one for me and I wasn’t the one for her. She dumped me a couple days later. Couldn’t say I was surprised.” –cbarnes15

“one year a girl i was dating just sent me a big long message basically a letter telling me she wished she could be there with me (long distance relationship) and i was going through a rough patch and really drove home how much she cared about me and it was really beautiful, she was really good at making me feel special. i tried to do the same but i guess im just not good at it, i mailed her a letter i had written with her favorite candy but yeah the relationship eventually fell apart and i feel bad i couldn’t get across how strongly i felt about her.” –alchupanebra

“I got a steak, bourbon, a jump rope, and a bag of dorotos. I gave her a “sexy/naughty” calendar of me doing household chores wearing only an apron, a week of nightly foot rubs, I made her cinnamon rolls from scratch, and I hid 50 Ferrero Rocher around the house.” –Raininglemur

“I made a friend of mine who is a single woman a computer “game” that turned her xbox controller into a vibrator. I included all sorts of preset patterns too so that with button presses or voice commands you could change it up.” –

Aazadan

“I feel like I’m the only one who likes to give foot rubs. I think it’s a good work out for my grip strength and ladies love em. Like just ask and I’ll gladly give one. My ex didn’t like her feet touched though so I rarely gave them.” –drsquires

It was junior year and my psychology class was doing a secret Santa type thing but for Valentine’s Day since we were close. I got a girl who I was fine with giving a gift to. Drew her a nice rose, wrote something cute and gave her chocolates, not a lot. What I got from another girl was pretty impressive. I got a nice handwritten card, a jar of kisses, and a bunch of candy put into a cute bag. Now, I was antisocial af and this was completely unexpected. I was expecting her to give me like a chocolate bar or something but nah, she gave me the entire bag! Such a friendly girl, wish her the best in her college life now.

I also got a valentines gram which had chocolates sent to me anonymously but I already knew it was this one girl a grade above me that sent it. Weird cause I’m usually the one that never gets shit.” –Reddit User 

“When I was in high school from my first serious girlfriend. My first valentine’s day in a relationship. We had been dating about five months at the time.

I ask her what she wants for valentine’s day. She says she doesn’t want anything, just a dinner with me (I already had reservations). I ask her again, incredulously, “you don’t want anything, not even flowers?”

“No, I don’t want anything.”

“Are you sure? No flowers?”

“I’m sure.”

“No flowers?”

Don’t get me flowers.”

So… I don’t get her anything except chocolate and a dinner reservation. Definitely no flowers.

At the end of the day, she is upset she hasn’t gotten any flowers delivered. I tell her that I didn’t get her any, she told me not to. She cries, and tells me not to talk to her. Refuses to answer my calls. We don’t go out to dinner, and I spend valentine’s day alone.

My gift? One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned – don’t take women literally, it’s a trap.

Just buy the damn flowers.” – SadClownInIronLung

“My sophomore year of high school some girl who I really hadn’t thought much of gave me a card that read “To: Cute boy, you have a really nice smile”. We hung out a bit after that but things didn’t go to great (long story). Anyways that one valentine started a chain reaction that ended some serious depression I had and now I smile more often.” –supeguy212

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Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom

Culture

Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom

Photo: Getty Images

This Christmas, unfortunately, is going to be tough for a lot of people. With the coronavirus pandemic still waging on, many of us have had to make the tough decision to stay home for the holidays. That means no traveling out of town or visiting extended family like we have in years past.

If you come from a family that likes to get into the competitive spirit and play games over the holidays, then giving up that tradition might feel too disappointing. Luckily, we can all rely on technology to keep us connected in these trying times when we’re forced to be apart.

We’ve compiled a list of Zoom-friendly games that you can play with your family over the holidays and beyond. Take a peak at our fun picks below!

1. Charades

This one’s an easy one. All you have to do is create a Zoom link, send it out to family members and pick a topic to act out. If you’re having trouble thinking of a word, trying using a Charades word generator.

2. Card Games

Who says a little old pandemic can keep us from playing cards with our loved ones? For many of us, playing cards with our family is as steadfast a holiday tradition as exchanging gifts is. Log on to https://playingcards.io/ to create a custom game room to share with your family.

3. Bingo

Think about it: Bingo is the perfect game to play over Zoom. Websites like https://myfreebingocards.com/virtual-bingo have virtual bingo games you can play for free with up to 30 participants!

4. Heads Up!

Heads Up! is a game in which a player has to guess which word/topic is on their phone screen by the clues their team members are giving them. In order to make the most of this game, players at each Zoom location will have to download the Heads Up! app on their phone. And after that, it’s smooth sailing.

5. All Bad Cards (aka Cards Against Humanity)

If you’re the type of family that likes to push the envelope over a game of Cards Against Humanity, consider logging onto https://allbad.cards/. All you have to do is generate a party room and send the link out to the members of your “party”. Then, you’re ready to go!

6. Pictionary

Pictionary is the kind of game that Zoom was practically invented for. In order to play this game, you’ll have to fire up Zoom’s whiteboard tool and share your screen with all of the participating players. Again, if you can’t think of a topic, get some help with a Pictionary random word generator.

7. Trivial Pursuit

You’ll have to own this classic board game in order to play over Zoom, but if you do, setting it up and playing is super easy. In order to make this game user-friendly for all participants, make sure there’s someone in your location that can play on the same team as someone in a different Zoom location. That way, all the players can be sure that there’s no cheating involved.

8. Outburst

If you’re a fan of Family Feud, then Outburst is probably right up your alley. This game requires that each player brainstorm lists off of a given topic (i.e. Top Ten Christmas songs). Unfortunately, there is no virtual or online version of the game, but instead, team members can take turns coming up with topics and having other players brainstorm lists.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com