Creamy Coquito Recipe

If you close your eyes and think of the winter holidays, what do you see first? A twinkling Christmas tree or a softly flickering menorah, gently falling snow on chilly afternoons, a whole lot of presents piled up and just waiting to be unwrapped? Okay, what tastes do you imagine? Rich cocoa with marshmallows floating on top, or maybe a lavish turkey dinner feast? Or, what about mulled wine or a good stout? Well, here's a new taste for you to add to the holidays: the coquito.

Coquito means "little coconut" in Spanish, but it's also the name of a Christmas drink that was first enjoyed in Puerto Rico. The coconut-based beverage, usually made with rum, is rather like eggnog (it's even called Puerto Rican eggnog sometimes) and, like nog, is a wonderful holiday treat. But once you have made yourself a coquito, following this recipe from Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating, you may decide to go ahead and make this an any day drink instead of a holiday exclusive.

Gather the ingredients for a creamy coquito

To make a batch of coquitos, you'll need coconut milk, coconut cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks, and ground nutmeg.

"Any rum that's dark in color is great," Brookes says. "Or you could use bourbon or spiced rum, too. The non-alcoholic version will taste slightly sweeter and richer without the rum kick."

Simmer the milks and cream

To start the recipe off, add all of the ingredients (except for the rum or other chosen liquor) to a large saucepan. Warm everything in the pan on a medium heat, stirring frequently, and keeping the burner going just until the mixture begins to bubble. 

"When heating the ingredients in the pan, be sure to stir frequently to prevent the condensed milk sinking to the bottom and burning," Brookes notes.

Rest, spike, and chill the coquito

As soon as the liquid in the pan begins to simmer, cut the heat. Then remove the pan from the burner, cover it, and leave the mixture to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to blend and infuse. 

After the half hour of cooling and infusing time is up, add the rum or bourbon and stir the coquito well. Next, remove the cinnamon sticks and chill the beverage in the fridge until it is properly cold, giving it at least 1 to 2 hours. (You can transfer it to a pitcher or sealed container for this chilling.)

Serve, dust with nutmeg, and enjoy

Once the drink has chilled, give it a quick stir, then pour out servings of coquito and top each with an extra dusting of nutmeg on top — this is optional, but advised. And now enjoy this drink that Brookes says is "definitely a great one for the holiday season!"

Creamy Coquito Recipe
5 from 53 ratings
This creamy coquito is a Puerto Rican specialty — think of it as a boozy eggnog.
Prep Time
Cook Time
creamy drinks in glasses
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (10-ounce) coconut cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ cups dark rum
  1. Add all ingredients except for the rum to a large saucepan.
  2. Heat on a medium setting, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the rum and stir well.
  5. Remove the cinnamon sticks and chill in the fridge until cold, about 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Serve with an extra dusting of nutmeg on top.
Calories per Serving 961
Total Fat 48.6 g
Saturated Fat 39.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 58.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 72.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 65.0 g
Sodium 237.6 mg
Protein 16.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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