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Learn how to master the Coquito cocktail with these great recipes

Want to drink like they do in Puerto Rico? Mix up a Coquito, or little coconut, with these great recipes

In Puerto Rico, the Coquito reigns supreme. The cocktail, which translates to little coconut, is a go-to around the holidays but delicious all year long. It’s an ideal drink for rum, rich, tropical, and inherently festive.

Yes, it’s a major deal come Christmastime. But really, this sweet and creamy drink is great anytime you feel like dessert in a glass, whether it’s as a great nightcap drink or post-meal dessert sipper. Simply put, if you gravitate towards eggnog, you’re going to fall for this Puerto Rican classic.

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.”

Here are a few recipes that show the tasty range of this rum cocktail.

Caribe Coquito Recipe

Caribe Hilton Coquito.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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


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


  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.


  • 1/2 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 1/2 cups cocoa powder (use Chocolate Cortés)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (add more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup hot water


  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.


  • 1/2 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 ounces guava paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (add more to taste)


  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.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock

Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since. He spent years making, selling, and sipping Pinot Noir in the Dundee Hills before a full return to his journalistic roots in 2016. He's helplessly tied to European soccer, casting for trout, and grunge rock. In addition to The Manual, he writes for SevenFifty Daily, Sip Northwest, The Somm Journal, The Drake, Willamette Week, Travel Oregon, and more. He has a website and occasionally even updates it:

Send all editorial inquiries HERE.

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