Isa's Cola de Mono


This is a traditional Chilean Christmastime drink of milk flavored with coffee and spices, passed down to me by our Chilean nanny Isa. It is delicious, and a must-try if you don't care for egg-nog. The recipe can be varied to suit your tastes - be creative with the proportions of coffee, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla, as well as with your choice of liqueurs.

Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
1 gallon


  • 20 whole cloves

  • 5 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 gallon cold milk

  • ¼ cup instant coffee granules

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup pisco, white rum, brandy, or other lightly-flavored liquor


  1. Gently simmer the cloves and cinnamon sticks in water until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk, and heat to a simmer, then stir in and dissolve the coffee and sugar.

  2. Strain the coffee mixture into the remaining cold milk, and discard the cloves and cinnamon sticks. Stir in the vanilla extract and pisco. Store in the refrigerator.

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