Grown folks love grown drinks and since the holiday season has begun, why not add a libation that will make any holiday gathering even more festive—coquito! Deliciously creamy, smooth, rich, the traditional drink that means little coconut in Spanish has its roots in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. It usually sneaks out around Thanksgiving but then, makes its full splash during the height of the Christmas season until Three Kings Day on January 6.
Kind of like a quasi-eggnog, coquito’s main flavor is coconut with a healthy dose of rum for good measure. Sweet and potent, coquito is either served as an aperitif or after a hearty meal. Recipes within families for the indulgent beverage seem to evolve as they are resurrected with each generation.
Some folks have resorted to buying commercially prepared versions of coquito from their friendly neighborhood liquor stores but according to connoisseurs of the drink, the homemade and store-bought cannot be compared.
Try this coquito recipe twist on eggnog that’s a cinch to whip up for your holiday crew—Salud!
12 oz. can evaporated milk
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
15 oz. can sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez or Goya)
14 oz. can coconut milk
3 cups white rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut cream, and coconut milk in a large blender and blend well. Add the rum (less if you so desire), vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon, blend.
Pour into a pitcher or glass bottles with sealed lids and drop in the cinnamon sticks. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until very cold. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Leftovers should be kept tightly sealed in the refrigerator for about a week (vigorously shake your container each time before serving).