Osa Eats


Eggnog / Rompope

Barbara Burkhardt

Barbara is the owner of Jade Luna Home Made Ice Cream, downtown main street, and sells a wide variety of homemade delicacies at the Friday Matapalo farmer’s market at Martina’s Bar.  Contact her directly jadeluna1@yahoo.com


Growing up in North America, my Christmases were always steeped in European traditions:  a heavenly smelling blue spruce decorated with candy canes, tinsel, and ornaments collected and handed down over generations; the house laden with boughs of red-berried holly cut from the tree outside; days of Christmas baking of fruit cake, gingerbread men, and butter cookies cut out in holiday shapes and decorated with red and green sprinkles. The holidays were marked by a trip from our Long Island home to New York City to watch The Nutcracker or the holiday show at Radio City Music Hall, the skaters at Rockefeller Center, and long strolls walks along the bustling, festive streets to admire the winter wonderland displays in the department store windows. The weather was always brisk, snow often falling gently outside the dining-room picture window, Bing Crosby belting out White Christmas on the record player. Stockings were hung, and a plate of cookies and milk were left out for a hungry Santa sure to pay a visit while we slept.


As much as you may try (and I have) a tropical Christmas never has the same feel. Santa wears a bathing suit and rides a surfboard.  Artificial trees abound (some are even white; gasp!). Christmas day is commonly celebrated by a beach barbecue, not that far removed from any ordinary weekend.  Here in Costa Rica the birth of Jesus Christ and the Nativity take center stage, and many a Charlie Brown Christmas tree have I seen playing second fiddle. And can you say tamales?  Say it again:  tamales, tamales, and more tamales!

There is, however, one tradition that both cultures enjoy equally:  eggnog, or rompope as it is called down here at Latitude 10.  Eggnog is a lightly sweetened liquor-spiked drink (brandy or bourbon in the north, rum down in these parts) made with milk and eggs and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s easy to prepare, and particularly appealing with fresh whole milk straight from the cow and farm-fresh eggs, both readily available here.   If you’ve never been a fan of eggnog but have never tried the “real” thing, you are in for a treat!


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark rum,  bourbon, or brandy


In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.  Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add bourbon or rum and stir.  Refrigerate overnight or for up to three days.

Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.



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