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.
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 by that Goya commercial 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 cream of coconut and ordered a brand new blender online.
What Is Coquito?
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.
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 use in our recipe, unless you’d rather use a stovetop. The stovetop approach typically calls for eggs while the blender approach does not.
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
While the Coquito’s roots are firmly rooted in Puerto Rico, its exact origin is a mystery. Some cocktail historians speculate that Spanish colonizers influenced the drink’s creation but nobody knows for sure. However, it’s no mystery that the creamy rum cocktail is now popular throughout the Caribbean and 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.
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:
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.
How to Craft Coquito
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.
The first step is to dump the cans of coconut cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk into the blender.
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 for a couple minutes until they’re pureed. We use the latest series Vitamix blender but any full-sized blender should work in this recipe.
Next, pour the Coquito mixture into a bottle or jar.
Give it a good stir or shake and then refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours until the jar is fully chilled. If possible, leave the Coquito in the refrigerator overnight to achiever a deeper flavor. You can also add a cinnamon stick to the bottle or jar to achieve extra cinnamon flavor.
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.
Pour into small glasses and garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.
Feel free to sprinkle some ground cinnamon or nutmeg on top of your Coquito.
Return the jar or bottle to the refrigerator if you don’t serve the full batch. It should last for a couple weeks if you tightly seal your vessel.
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:
Coquito is a creamy Puerto Rican cocktail typically imbibed during the holiday season.
The Coquito’s roots are in Puerto Rico. The rum drink spread throughout the Caribbean before conquering the world.
White Rum, Coconut Cream, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Vanilla Extract, Ground Cinnamon and Cinnamon Sticks (garnish)
We like to use white rum but you can use any rum to craft this cocktail.
Neither. The Coquito is blended.
While you could technically freeze Coquito, the better option is to refrigerate the boozy rum beverage.
Our Coquito version should last two weeks in the refrigerator if you firmly seal the container.
Yes, in fact we recommend whipping up a batch a day or two before serving Coquito at a party.
- 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)
- Pour rum, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon into a blender.
- Blend until the ingredients are mixed and creamy.
- Pour the mixture into a glass container.
- Seal the container and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
- Shake or stir the mixture when you remove it from the refrigerator.
- Pour the drink into small glasses.
- Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.
- 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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Vitamix A2300 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black
Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Otis Classic Swing Top Glass Bottles - Set of 6, 16oz w/ Marker & Labels - Clear Bottle with Caps for Juice, Water, Kombucha, Wine, Beer Brewing, Kefir Milk or Eggnog
Carnation Evaporated Milk (Pack of 2)
Nestle La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14-ounce Cans (Pack of 2)
Coconut Cream by Coco Lopez 15 oz Pack of 3
Simply Organic Cinnamon Ground, 2.45-Ounce Container (Pack Of 2)
McCormick Cinnamon Sticks, 8 oz
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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.
Original Publication Date: December 23, 2022