Don’t like eggnog? Give it’s tropical Puerto Rican cousin a try – coconut-based Coquito is rich, creamy, full of rum, and ready for any holiday party!
I am so horrifyingly unprepared for this holiday.
As I write this, know that it is Thursday, December 22, 9:30PM. I have 2 pies and 8 batches of cookies to bake, half of which need garnishing or decorating, before Saturday. There’s a handful of gifts to wrap – in secret, somehow – and stocking stuffers to purchase for my hubby and my pooch.
Plus there’s the usual household things that have to get done. And two 12+ hour workdays coming at me in a very short time.
To say that I’m freaking out would be an understatement.
BUT: I could absolutely not let you guys go another Christmas without the recipe for Abe’s wonderful coquito.
Thank me later.
My intention for this post, before getting sick last week and throwing my whole baking schedule into freefall, was to cleverly rewrite Twas The Night Before Christmas to include a stressed out father enjoying his Coquito after the house is asleep.
I love poetry, and I can’t remember the last time I actually put pen to paper to write one of my own.
Getting the idea for this rewrite got me all shades of excited, and I managed to jot down a couple of stanzas before my brain literally broke.
I couldn’t successfully rhyme while looking at the clock and realizing how screwed I was.
Maybe it’s the Benadryl, but some of the stuff I was writing reminded me of English-dubbed anime.
You know how the literal translations are often so weird? That was me.
So, you’re getting my OMG I’M FREAKING OUT ramblings instead, with an added bonus of some pretty delicious looking pics of my favorite Christmas drink of all time – el coquito!
It’s eggnog for the eggnog haters of the world!
(Of course, if you love eggnog too, feel free to try out my recipe for that as well!)
You’re gonna want to keep a pitcher of this in the fridge even after the holidays – it makes the best coffee creamer ever!
…Just don’t add it to your off-to-work mug.
What Is Coquito?
Coquito is a coconut-based traditional Christmas drink that originated in Puerto Rico, but is found throughout the Carribbean. It is often called Puerto Rican Eggnog due to its similarity to the egg-based holiday drink, but it contains no eggs.
While there are many regional variations, every recipe starts with similar base coquito ingredients. This recipe calls for:
- Coconut milk
- Coconut cream
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Rum (white, dark, spiced, or coconut-flavored)
- Various spices and flavorings, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla
The drink is sweet and strong, often served as a shot after a large dinner.
It is also known as Crème de Vie (Cuba), Rompope (Mexico), Crémas (Haiti), and Ponche Crema (Venezuela). Some variations are sold bottled in liquor stores.
Does Coquito Have To Be Refrigerated?
Coquito is best served chilled, and must be refrigerated before serving. It is best kept chilled afterwards.
How Long Does Coquito Last In the Fridge?
Properly stored in an airtight container, a batch of Coquito will last between 4 and 6 months.
Meaning you can make it early and really infuse that rum, or enjoy it well past the holidays!
The Best Rum for Coquito?
Honestly, you can really go with your favorite rum here. We make this recipe every year and have used everything from Captain Morgan to Bacardi to Brugal, white rum to spiced rum to añejo. (We are currently partial to Ron Barcelo Añejo Rum!)
How To Make The BEST Puerto Rican Coquito:
Most recipes for Coquito you’ll find have you blending up your ingredients in a blender.
This particular recipe involves a bit of simmering to infuse flavors prior to mixing in the rum. It’s almost like aging rum balls in record time.
However, you can also combine everything in your blender and blitz it up to Coquito goodness if you’re in a time crunch! It will still be delicious!
- First, combine your milks and coconut cream in a large saucepan set over low heat. Add vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk to combine.
- Now bring the mixture to a steady simmer and allow it to thicken slightly over the heat for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir in rum and vanilla extract.
- Then, transfer the coquito to a large pitcher or container and chill for 2+ hours in the refrigerator.
- Serve as a shot, or in a cordial glass garnished with toasted coconut and cinnamon.
LOOKING FOR MORE HOLIDAY RECIPES?
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING COQUITO:
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Puerto Rican Coquito
- 24 ounces (2 cans) evaporated milk
- 14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
- 14 ounces (1 can) coconut milk
- 15 ounces (1 can) sweetened cream of coconut
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups rum white, spiced, coconut, or a combination
- Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)
- Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut cream, and coconut milk in a large pot set over low heat, whisking to combine. Add the cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Allow to simmer 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and cool at least 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean and discard.
- Whisk in vanilla extract and rum. Pour into a pitcher, cover, and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until cold.
- Serve straight in small glasses garnished or in larger ones with cubed ice. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted coconut.
- Store remaining coquito in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Properly stored in an airtight container, leftovers will keep for 4-6 months.
- For a less strong drink, replace the desired amount of rum with equal parts cold coconut milk or whole milk.
- For a non-alcoholic or virgin drink, replace rum with one cup cold coconut milk or whole milk and one cup cold water.