What Is Coquito? Learn About the Creamy Holiday Cocktail Native to Puerto Rico

·3 min read

If you're the type of person that can't celebrate Christmas without whipping up a punch bowl of eggnog, you're in for a real treat. Coquito (pronounced ko-kee-toh) is the eggnog of Puerto Rico and it's about to become your new favorite creamy drink. The coconut- and rum-based cocktail is traditionally served during the holidays but is something that is easily enjoyed year-round. We did a deep dive to learn all about coquito and got our Test Kitchen's tips for making Puerto Rican coquito at home. So grab the coquito ingredients on your next grocery run and get mixing.

Dera Burreson, Ryan Krull

What Is Coquito?

Coquito (which means "little coconut" in Spanish) is a traditional holiday drink that originated in Puerto Rico. There are various recipes out there, but the main coquito ingredients will always include coconut milk, coconut cream, rum, and sweetened condensed milk. It can be flavored with different ingredients such as chocolate or fruit, but it's most commonly infused with cinnamon. The flavor is sort of a cross between boozy eggnog and horchata.

Coquito Vs. Eggnog

Coquito is often called Puerto Rican Eggnog, as they're both creamy, spiked, and served during the holidays. The main difference between the two is that coquito is coconut milk-based and eggnog is made with a base of milk and (traditionally) real eggs.

How to Make Coquito

If you've never made a coquito drink before, we have a delicious coquito recipe to get you started. Use the measurements there and follow these steps for how to make coquito:

  1. Add coconut milk, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, rum, cinnamon, and vanilla to a large blender ($90, Amazon). Blend until well-combined. Transfer to a pitcher ($19, Amazon), cover, and chill in the fridge 4 to 24 hours.

  2. Prepare glasses by moistening the rims with water and dipping into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside until dry.

  3. Serve coquito in prepared glasses with a cinnamon stick for garnish, if you like. Enjoy!

Test Kitchen Tip: Turn our recipe into a virgin coquito recipe everyone can enjoy by simply omitting the rum.

Best Rum for Coquito

Traditional versions of the coquito drink are made with Puerto Rican rums such as Don Q ($15, ReserveBar). Our recipe calls for dark rum, but feel free to use whatever rum (i.e. white, dark, spiced) you've got on hand.

How to Make Vegan Coquito

Coquito is nearly dairy-free as it is, so you can easily turn our recipe into vegan coquito by swapping the canned dairy milk (condensed and evaporated) for nondairy versions. Keep the coconut theme of coquito going by checking specialty grocers or online stores for vegan coconut condensed milk ($10, Amazon) and coconut evaporated milk ($9, Amazon).

How Long Does Coquito Last?

You can store coquito in a covered pitcher in the fridge for up to 1 week. Some separation may occur as it sits, so give it a good whisk before pouring yourself another glass.

Explore even more global flavors at home by enjoying your coquito with some traditional holiday desserts from around the world. Need more drink inspiration for your next gathering? Try one of our other favorite pitcher cocktails.