Add the sweet potatoes to a large pot. Pour in enough water until they're just covered. Add the piloncillo, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, star anise, whole cloves, ground ginger, cinnamon stick, and salt. Stir to combine.
Bring it to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. Let the sweet potatoes simmer for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender. Remove the sweet potatoes from the pot and set aside. (Cover to keep warm.)
Add the whiskey to the pot and stir well. If there's still a lot of liquid left, bring to a simmer and let the liquid reduce significantly until it forms a syrup-like consistency.
Once thickened, remove the pot from the heat. Carefully remove the spices with kitchen tongs or a spoon and discard. Serve the sweet potatoes with extra syrup poured over them.
Storage: Once fully cooled, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.Reheat: To reheat them, pop them in the microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat them in a covered pan over medium-low heat for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oven’s also a good idea for larger portions, just set it to 325°F and bake the camotes for 15-20 minutes.Granulated Piloncillo: If you can only find piloncillo cones, use a cheese grater to shred it.Coconut Sugar: You can substitute it for dark brown sugar. Cinnamon Stick: Feel free to use a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon instead.Whiskey: The whiskey adds a smokey sweetness, but feel free to leave it out completely.Set a timer. Don’t leave the mixture on the stove indefinitely. If you usually forget things in the kitchen, set a timer so that your camotes are perfectly cooked.Keep an eye on the heat. Raising the heat won’t make your sweet potatoes cook faster, it’ll only increase the chances of the sugary syrup burning.Stir, stir, stir. Treat the syrup like caramel, you need to stir it every now and then to keep it from sticking to the pot and burning.