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.
I have a rib roast to season and Brussels sprouts to prep for Sunday.
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?
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?
How Long Does Coquito Last In the Fridge?
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:
If you love this recipe, please consider leaving a 5 STAR RATING! If you really love it, leave us a comment and let us know – we appreciate all forms of feedback!
Join in on the fun in our Facebook group! Feel free to share YOUR favorite recipes, ask questions, help out your fellow home cooks, and see what’s new with The Crumby Kitchen (so that you never miss a new recipe)! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #crumbykitchen so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
You can also enjoy exclusive content before anyone else by subscribing to our weekly newsletter – and you’ll never miss a delicious recipe again!
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.
Best stand mixer under $100 says
This is indeed a perfect drink to serve for the Holiday. It’s made of special ingredients that makes it more exciting to drink. It will make a great surprise to everyone or your visitors during this festive Holiday season.
Jennifer Banz says
This looks like a festive drink for the holiday season! I can’t wait to try!
Wilhelmina Wessel says
Wow! I have gotta try this!
This was such a hit at our party! I can’t wait to make it for our next one!
My favorite! I do have a question though….is there a difference between making this on the stove, or the blender? Thanks
I’m pretty sure the results you get from blending the ingredients will be similar – my husband’s secret to his having so much flavor is simmer everything together. I’m not sure how it changes it, but it DOES taste much better when it’s made that way!
This coquito tastes amazing. I have tried many recipes over the years, this has been hands down the best one. Perfect for the holidays.
Hi so if I wanted to make it a virgin drink you stated”For a non-alcoholic or virgin drink, replace rum with one cup cold coconut milk or whole milk and one cup cold water”. Is this additional to the 1 cup of coconut milk that is already called for in the recipe?
Hi Melissa! Yes, that would be in addition to what’s already in the mi – the coconut rum has tons of coconut flavor, so if that’s what you’re after, adding more coconut milk with water would be the best choice. If you’d rather have it a bit thinner/less coconutty, the cows milk (or non-dairy milk) + water will achieve that. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!
Can I make this without the cream of coconut. I couldn’t find any
Hi Lina! The consistency will not be as thick without the cream of coconut, but you could add more coconut milk instead if necessary. So you know for the future, most grocery stores sell cream of coconut on the aisle with the wines and cocktail mixers. I hope you enjoy it!
Which rum variety do you use personally?
Malibu coconut rum is my go to! 🙂
How much does this recipe make? What bottles did you use to store it?
I made this last night (thursday) for a party on saturday. I just checked it this morning and its SUPER thick. Used the same amount of milks. Does it thin out a bit once its ready to serve?
This is such a great method for coquito. I have always used the blender but this is so much better and more thick and creamy. I will always use this recipe now. Thank you! I did use WAY less rum. Only about 3/4 cup. I think any more would have taken away from the flavor.
I made this with Hennessy instead of rum… Delicious!!!