The Best Coquito Recipe, a Classic Puerto Rican Cocktail

The Coquito, or little coconut, is a big deal in Puerto Rico. The cocktail is a staple during the extended holiday stretch and is making its mark stateside, wowing those who love a good rum cocktail. There are many reasons to get into this festive drink, often dubbed the Puerto Rican Eggnog. For starters, National Coquito Day is December 21. Beyond that, it’ll transport you to its birthplace, a sunny nation where they don’t take Christmas lightly. In fact, Puerto Rico starts celebrating in mid-November and doesn’t stop until mid-January. And they do so with a tasty Coquito in hand.

Coquito Cocktail
Discover Puerto Rico

At its essence, the Coquito is a mix of coconut milk and cream, condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and rum. The drink gets personalized a lot, as most families make their own versions. Like a good mole or Bolognese recipe, these exact details of what goes into the drink are often kept secret. But worry not, we’ve acquired a few top-notch recipes for you to try at home this holiday season, including two flavored versions from Discover Puerto Rico.

The Caribe Hilton is a famous destination in Puerto Rico and claims to be the birthplace of the iconic Piña Colada. The joint also makes a mean Coquito. Hector Prieto is the Executive Sous Chef at Caribe and says the Coquito marks the arrival of Christmas on the island.

The drink “is easy to prepare, but it’s extremely important to make sure that all the ingredients are refrigerated before and after preparation,” Prieto emphasizes. “Personally, the perfect Coquito is not too sweet, but just the right balance of cinnamon, coconut, and rum.”

How does he like to whip one up and hand it off? “My favorite way to serve Coquito’s is as a welcome drink to guests,” he says. “It pairs really well with cinnamon cookies, local white cheese, chocolate, and guava, to name a few.”

Caribe Coquito Recipe

Caribe Hilton Coquito.

Mix up a large batch of this island classic this holiday season and invite all your pals over to enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rum (Ron del Barrilito is suggested)
  • 12 oz coconut milk unsweetened
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 12 oz coconut cream
  • 12 oz condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together except the rum and slowly bring to a simmer, mixing constantly.
  2. Let cool until room temperature is reached.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and serve cold in a shot glass. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder.

Chocolate Coquito Recipe

Chocolate Coquito.
Discover Puerto Rico

Chocolate works great in the Coquito, as this tasty riff suggests. Be sure your water is hot to blend the ingredients appropriately.

Ingredients:

  • .5 cup white rum (preferably Don Q or Bacardí)
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut (most Puerto Ricans prefer Coco López)  
  • 1.5 cups cocoa powder (use Chocolate Cortés)
  • .5 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • .5 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more to taste)
  • .25 cup hot water

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix water and cocoa powder until creating a paste-like mixture. Cover the bowl and heat in the microwave (or stove) for two minutes until it melts. Add the cinnamon, mix, and let it simmer.
  2. In a blender, add the condensed milk and evaporated milk, cream of coconut, chocolate mixture, vanilla extract, and rum. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes until all is blended. Transfer the Chocolate Coquito into glass bottles and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. 
  3. Garnish with coconut shavings or a cinnamon stick.

Guava Coquito Recipe

guava fruit sitting next to a guava drink.
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

Keep the tropical themes alive and ever-drinkable with this sunny guava adaptation. You can find the paste at most specialty stores and online.

Ingredients:

  • .5 cup white rum (preferably Don Q or Bacardí)
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can of cream of coconut (most Puerto Ricans prefer Coco López)  
  • 6 oz guava paste
  • .5 tsp vanilla extract
  • .5 tsp of ground cinnamon (add more to taste)

Method:

  1. In a blender, add the evaporated milk and the guava paste and blend for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until all is blended.
  2. Transfer the Guava Coquito into glass bottles and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and serve cold.

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