Puerto Rican Coquito

Coquito is a creamy, boozy, coconutty drink, imbibed during the holidays, especially on Christmas and New Year’s.  Coquito means ”little coconut” in Spanish, and is sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican egg nog, which is where the drink originated.

Coquito

When I served this to a bunch of friends everyone wanted to try it and at first took a small glass, and then promptly walked back over to the pitcher and refilled their glasses to the top.  This is in fact one of those drinks that feels more like dessert, though it’s just perfect to sip on a chilly holiday evening.

Sometimes it’s served in shot glasses, but I like to serve it in clear mugs.  Garnish each drink with a cinnamon stick of you like.

This recipe comes by way of my friend and fellow professional cook Guillermo Cruz, but it really comes from his mother, Carmen Cruz, who was kind enough to share it with me, so I could share it with all of you.  

Coquito

Alcohol in Coquito

The most common type of alcohol used in coquito is rum, and Carmen Cruz calls for that plus amaretto, which is an almond liqueur.  Amaretto is not always added to coquito, but it’s a nice little twist.  If you don’t have amaretto and don’t want to make a dash to the store, you can just double the amount of rum.  This is an ample but not stupid amount of alcohol; each 8 ounce glass has the equivalent of just about 1 ounce of liquor.  

You can of course dial the amount of alcohol up or down.  However, the booze plus the creaminess of the various milks is what gives this drink its complexity.  So, can you skip it altogether for a virgin coquito?  Sure, go for it.  

Coquito Ingredients

Every coquito mixologist has his or her own recipe, and spices like nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. Here coconut milk is heated with whole cloves, star anise, and a cinnamon stick, then cooled, strained and mixed with the other chilled ingredients.  The result is a drink that tastes like the holidays.  If you want a more strongly flavored coquito you could double the amount of these spices.  

Coquito

How to Make Coquito

Pour the coconut milk into a small pot and add the cloves, anise, and cinnamon stick.  Heat over medium high heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pot.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.  Strain out the cloves, anise, and cinnamon stick.

In a large pitcher combine the infused coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.  Stir in the rum and Amaretto. Combine well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Serve chilled in glasses.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.

Coquito

What to Serve with Coquito:

Coquito is quite rich and sweet.  It seems to pair up best with desserts, but as with egg nog, people seem happy to drink it at all times of the day.

Coquito

Other Holiday Cocktail Recipes:

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Coquito

Yield: 10 People

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup rum (such as Bacardi)
  • ½ cup Amaretto
  • Cinnamon sticks for garnish , if desired

Directions

  • Pour the coconut milk into a small pot and add the cloves, anise, and cinnamon stick. Heat over medium high heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pot. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain out the cloves, anise, and cinnamon stick.
  • In a large pitcher combine the infused coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Stir in the rum and Amaretto. Combine well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve chilled in glasses. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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