Amer A. Vargas Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, November 2019, Let’s Talk about Mixology

Amer A. VargasLet’s Talk about Mixology, Part 49

by Amer A. Vargas

Colombian Sabajon

The Sabajón, photographed at the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara-Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

As the article’s author is currently in Colombia, revisiting the cream of the crop of Cartagena de India’s butlers, it might be interesting to prepare a particular Colombian cocktail that should please most lovers of concoctions, especially those who enjoy a sweet mix. What’s more, since this cocktail is mostly enjoyed here during the Christmas season, the timing couldn’t be better to give you an idea of an unusual cocktail that you could brew up this Holiday season.

So, today we introduce the Sabajon (read sa-ba-hon for non-Spanish speakers), which is a Colombian-style eggnog of sorts, but invigorated with rum or aguardiente (a kind of eau-de-vie, produced by distilling anise and sugar cane). The recipe comes courtesy of Erica Dinho from and is dangerously tasty!

As stated above, this is pretty much a Christmassy brew, although the cocktail can of course be enjoyed any time of the year. In any case, Christmas is the perfect season for gathering and sharing, so here we are mixing a big jug of Sabajon for many to enjoy. These are the ingredients you will need:

  • 50 oz/1.5 liters of whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 14 oz/0.4 liters of sweet condensed milk
  • 8 oz/0.24 liters (or double for the brave!) of rum or aguardiente (rum would provide a slightly sweeter and more aromatic taste).
  • Ground cinnamon

And this is how you prepare it…as you are about to see, there is a bit of cooking to be done:

First, place most of the milk (set about 8 oz/0.25 liters aside for later) in a pot with the sugar and the vanilla extract and bring to a boil, then let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and stir occasionally. Whilst the milk is being cooked, place the rest of the milk, the egg yolks, the corn starch and the condensed milk in a blender and mix until you have a homogeneous thick liquid.

When the milk-sugar is ready, add the egg yolk mixture, stir well to get a uniform mix and let simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes. When ready, let it cool down a bit and strain the mixture through a thin sieve to ensure no lumps are left behind, then pour into a serving pitcher. Now let it cool down to room temperature and add the rum or aguardiente. If you judge the mixture too thick, you can add a bit of extra milk and mix well. When ready, refrigerate until serving time.

And when you serve it, sprinkle the glasses with a little ground cinnamon that will provide a bit of additional aroma.

Sabajon is very easy to drink, so please, be careful! Cheers!

Mr. Vargas is the Institute’s President—feel free to contact him via email, AmerVargas @

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.