Food - Drink
Coquito: The Puerto Rican Eggnog That Has Its Own Festival
If you’re a fan of eggnog, then you need to try coquito, a creamy, chilled beverage that tastes like tropical Christmas. Coquito translates to “little coconut,” and while it may essentially be Caribbean eggnog, there are specific features that make it uniquely Puerto Rican and draw upon the island’s indigenous Taíno and Spanish, African, and American influences.
Coquito's History
When the Spanish colonizers came, they brought with them a taste for possets — a warm drink of milk mixed with alcohol — and sugarcane-derived rum quickly became the alcohol of choice. Colonizers also brought African coconuts, and later, America began shipping shelf-stable milk to the island, making it an island staple.
How to Make Coquito
Unlike eggnog, coquito doesn’t contain eggs but rather is made with Puerto Rican rum, condensed or evaporated milk, cream of coconut, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and ground clove. Blend all the ingredients together — or skip the rum for a non-alcoholic version — and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Coquito & the Holidays
Coquito is practically synonymous with Christmas in Puerto Rico and is often served in shot glasses, as a welcome drink, meal pairing, or as a dessert. Although some enjoy coquito until early January, National Coquito Day is on December 21, and there’s even an annual National Coquito Festival in Chicago to find the best coquito recipe.