Our Coquito recipe will show you how to create the Puerto Rican cocktail at home. It’s a tasty cocktail with a boozy, coconut kick. It’s also a great option for people who don’t want to add raw eggs to their creamy Christmas cocktails.

Coquito with White Background

Is it just us or is the Coquito having a moment? The Puerto Rican holiday tipple seems to be everywhere both online and in real life.

The traditional Caribbean cocktail initially hit our radar while we were researching holiday drinks. Then, by pure coincidence, we bumped into a TV commercial (sponsored by Goya) featuring the milky concoction along with dancing gingerbread man cookies.

We were so entranced that we had to rewind the DVR both for the dancing gingerbread men and the drink. Before long, we went to the store to buy coconut cream and ordered a brand new blender online.

What Is Coquito?

Coquito with Pink Background
Although the Coquito is a popular Christmas cocktail, it tastes like summer in a glass.

Coquito translates to little coconut, so it’s no surprise that the Coquito cocktail recipe includes coconut cream. Other key ingredients are sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon and a whole lot of rum. It sort of looks like an Eggnog but it’s an oversimplification to call the Coquito a Puerto Rican Eggnog.

Yes, both creamy cocktails are popular during the Christmas holiday season but that’s where the similarities end.

Vitamix Blender
Using a blender makes crafting Coquito as easy as a Sunday morning.

For starters, you don’t need to add eggs to craft Coquito. This drink derives its creaminess from processed milk products and coconut fat. Additionally, the Coquito answers Eggnog’s nutmeg with cinnamon and a distinct coconut finish.

While you don’t need eggs, you do need to use a blender, as we do in our recipe, unless you’d rather use a stovetop. That’s the recipe that calls for eggs.

Speaking of recipes, there are as many Coquito recipes as there are stars in the sky. And, if you’re not careful, drinking too many cups of Coquito may cause you to have stars in your eyes.

History of the Coquito

Coquito with Black Background
You should use Puerto Rican rum since the Coquito hails from that particular Caribbean island. However, rums from other Caribbean destinations like Cuba and the Dominican Republic work well too.

While the Coquito’s roots are firmly rooted in Puerto Rico, its exact origin is a mystery. However, it’s no mystery that the creamy rum cocktail has become a global holiday darling.

In a way, each Puerto Rican family created their own Coquito histories when they developed recipes that fit their personalities and budgets. Passed through generations, some of those recipes add eggs to the mix and others replace cinnamon with nutmeg and cloves.

Since we didn’t grow up in a Puerto Rican family, we don’t have the luxury of a secret family recipe and that’s okay. We were able to create a recipe that works for us based on where we live, the ingredients we can source and our personal flavor preferences.

Coquito Ingredients

Coquito Ingredients
Our Coquito recipe calls for white rum, coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks.

We mentioned that every Coquito recipe is different and we weren’t kidding. When you follow our easy Coquito recipe, you need to source the following ingredients:

  • White Rum
  • Coconut Cream
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Sticks (garnish)

Some Coquito recipes include eggs which adds a certain richness to the creamy drink. Although we were tempted to include eggs in our recipe, we ultimately decided to take an egg-free route.

Coquito Jar and Rum Bottle
There’s no such thing as too much rum when you craft a batch of Coquito at home.

One thing our Coquito recipe doesn’t scrimp on is rum. What can we say except that we like to drink boozy cocktails? It’s how we roll except when we’re drinking coffee or lemonade.

Buy bottles of rum from Drizly or Total Wine if you live in the US.

How to Craft Coquito

Blender and Coquito Ingredients
Gathering the Coquito ingredients will set you up for Coquito success.

You don’t need any special bar tools to craft Coquito at home. You just need a blender, a measuring spoon and a measuring cup.

You also need a bottle or jar for chilling your Coquito in the refrigerator.

Labeling Coquito
Adding a label to your Coquito jar is a pro move that we highly recommend.

The first step is to dump the cans of coconut cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk into the blender.

Pro Tip
Use a rubber spatula to get all of the condensed milk out of the can. It’s too good to waste.

Measure and add the rum.

Immediately measure and add the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon to the mix.

Blend the ingredients until they’re pureed. This should just take a couple minutes. We use the latest series Vitamix blender but any full-sized blender should work in this recipe.

Blending Coquito
Blending is fun with a Vitamix blender.

Next, pour the Coquito mixture into a bottle or jar.

Pouring Coquito into Jar
You need to be patient when you make Coquitos at home. The mixture needs to chill in a bottle or jar for at least two hours.

Give it a good stir or shake and then refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours until the Coquito is fully chilled.

Coquito in Refrigerator
We were as patient as possible while our Coquito was chilling.

Give the mixture another good stir or shake when you remove it from the refrigerator. You may need to skim the top layer or run it through the blender a second time if it’s too thick to pour.

Coquito from Above with Black Background
Finally, it was Coquito time!

Pour into small glasses and garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

Coquito Glass and Rum Bottle
Hooray! Our Coquito was worth the wait.

Feel free to sprinkle some ground cinnamon or nutmeg on top as well. We don’t do this but it’s a valid option.

Coquito Alternatives

Coquito with Red Background
Once you follow our Coquito recipe, you may want to alter the recipe to make it your own.

The options are practically endless when it comes to Coquito variations. Here are some ideas to get you started on your quest to create your personal best Coquito recipe:

  • Add eggs and simmer to craft to craft a smoother, richer Coquito mixture.
  • Add ingredients like fruits, coffee and nutella to the mix.
  • Garnish with fresh coconut flakes.
  • Replace the coconut cream with coconut milk.
  • Replace the white rum with aged or dark rum.
  • Skip the rum to craft virgin Coquito.

Coquito FAQs

What is Coquito?

Coquito is a creamy Puerto Rican cocktail typically imbibed during the holiday season.

Where is Coquito from?

The Coquito’s roots are in Puerto Rico.

What are the ingredients in Coquito?

White Rum, Coconut Cream, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Vanilla Extract, Ground Cinnamon and Cinnamon Sticks (garnish)

Is Coquito shaken or stirred?

Neither. The Coquito is blended.

Can you freeze Coquito?

While you could technically freeze Coquito, the better option is to refrigerate the boozy rum beverage.

How long does Coquito last?

Our Coquito version should last two weeks in the refrigerator if you firmly seal the container.

Coquito Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white rum
  • 15-ounce can coconut cream
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ground cinnamon sticks (garnish)

Instructions

    1. Pour rum, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon into a blender.
    2. Blend until the ingredients are mixed and creamy.
    3. Pour the mixture into a glass container.
    4. Seal the container and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
    5. Shake or stir the mixture when you remove it from the refrigerator.
    6. Pour the drink into small glasses.
    7. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

Notes

  • You may want to blend the chilled mixture a second time if it’s chunkier than you prefer.
  • Feel free to sprinkle ground cinnamon or nutmeg when serving.

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About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: December 23, 2022