There may not be a white Christmas, but rompope is the Costa Rican lubricant for wassailing.
This is an eggnog-like seasonal drink that can be blamed on 17th century nuns in México. If there are no nuns around, Dos Pinos makes a pretty good commercial version.
Most Costa Ricans have a grandmother or aunt who makes her own rompope that frequently is much stronger than the 4-percent alcohol version produced by Dos Pinos.
But it is not the alcohol. The creamy liquid is primarily milk. The commercial version suggests a half a glass serving and says there are eight such servings in a liter carton.
Each serving is pretty rich, weighing in at 166 calories.
But there is something worse than putting on some pounds. A rompope hangover is something to be avoided even though there
is a theory that milk reduces alcohol absorption. As the name suggests, the active ingredient is rum. And some jovial hosts like to jack up their rompope punch, perhaps bringing it up to 12 percent or more.
The extra kick is hard to notice when the drink is served over ice. Expats in chilly Zurquí might consider warming up the punch.