The holidays are upon us! Every Puerto Rican yearns for the “Navidades” to arrive, From the cool temperature of our winter (in the low 70’s !!), to the family “fiestas” with lots of holiday dishes like pasteles, arroz con gandules and pernil. To wash it all down? A nice Coquito drink. Learn how to make it with our Coquito recipe.
What is Coquito
Coquito (co-kee-to) is a coconut flavored rum drink unique to Puerto Rico prepared during Christmastime . The main ingredient is Puerto Rican rum and blend of coconut cream and milk. I guess you can call it a Puerto Rican eggnog.
It is prepared at home and shared between friends and family during the Christmas season. It ‘s a common to gift or be gifted bottles of Coquito in a decorative glass bottle. Add a bow to it for an amazing gift for your friends and neighbors!
There is even a National Coquito Day! Started by the Serrallés Distillery, a well known local rum brand, and observed on December 21.
How to Make Coquito
Coquito is very easy to make. You will need about 15 minutes to prepare it. No cooking is required, only mixing and tasting.!
1. Find a Recipe:
Ask your family, friends or even search on the web. Be warned! Puerto Ricans have strong opinions on what is considered an authentic Coquito recipe. The biggest debate is with or without egg yolk recipe. Some families add eggs, some don’t. I’m on the egg-less camp. Another drink, Ponche, is great and made with egg yolks.
Also, some like it thinner, some like it thicker. Even on the brand of rum used (Traditionally, Palo Viejo brand in used locally).
The first published coquito recipes were found in Puerto Rican cookbooks like “Cocina a tu Gusto” and Puerto Rican Cookery both by Carmen Valldejuli.
2. Mix Ingredients:
Measure ingredients and mix in a blender. Adjust sweetness, alcohol and so on… and pour into an airtight glass bottle.
So easy now. Before, you had to crack open a coconut, remove the white flesh, grate it and make coconut milk out of it. Now all you have to do is open a can,
3. Let it Chill:
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours for the flavors blend. Even better overnight. So, don’t be afraid to make this a few days before a party! The longer it sits, the better it tastes.
Trust me. I’ve tasted many, many Coquito drinks over the years and here’s one recipe I really like. It’s thick and creamy with a strong coconut flavor from the coconut cream and milk with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla.
2 cans (13.5 ounce) coconut milk
1 can (15 ounce) cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
½ to 1 can (14 ounce) condensed milk
1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
1 to 1 ½ cups Puerto Rican white rum (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
Ground Cinnamon for garnish
Serve in glass cups and sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired. Feliz Navidad!
1. Mix the ingredients in a blender at high speed for 1-2 minutes or use an immersion blender.
2. Pour into an airtight bottle, preferably glass. Locals use the empty rum bottle used after thoroughly washing it.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Always shake vigorously before pouring. Serve in small glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon on top and say Feliz Navidad!
You can store the Coquito in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Cream of coconut is commonly made by Goya or Coco Lopez. It is a very thick, sweetened coconut milk. This is not the same as coconut milk which has no sugar listed on the ingredients.
Use white rum, darker rum will affect the color of the coquito.
The sky’s the limit on how you can change the recipe. I’ve seen Coquito flavored pistachio, Nutella, chocolate, turrón (a Spanish nougat candy) and many more…
Use different rum brands for changing the taste. Also, you can use a Coconut flavored Puerto Rican rum.
Other ingredients used are raisins, shredded coconut, pistachio and vanilla ice cream and even cupcakes…
Here’s a secret! Do you know why we sprinkle ground cinnamon in our coconut candles?
To make them look like a Coquito!