Traditional Christmas drink Eggnog with whipped cream and cinnamon on dark stone background.


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If you're wondering how to improve on the classic cocktails at a holiday party and feel resigned to serving eggnog, we are pleased to introduce you to its decadent and delicious twin: coquito. 

Originated in Puerto Rico in the 1900s, this creamy, rum-based drink is known as the tropical version of eggnog. It may be a new favorite for guests young and old (just be sure the little ones get a booze-less batch). 

We have outlined everything you need to whip up authentic coquito at home.

What is Coquito?

Coquito, which means "little coconut" in Spanish, is a rum cocktail traditionally served during the holidays, but enjoyable year-round. Both coquito and eggnog are known for their milky base, but coquito is typically made with coconut milk, cream, and condensed milk — whereas eggnog's base is, well, eggs. 

More difference in ingredients:

Coconut milk is both a base and natural sweetener for coquito, so the drink doesn't call for eggnog’s copious amounts of sugar. You can add more condensed milk if you prefer your drinks extra sweet. 

While coquito is typically lighter without the eggs, it calls for similar spices: cinnamon, vanilla, ground nutmeg, and clove. It can also be flavored with other ingredients, such as chocolate and fruit. It results in a flavor profile similar to a boozy horchata, the Latin American drink made from nuts or rice. 

How to make Coquito at home:

If this is your first time making coquito, Simply Recipes has a recipe to get you started

  1. Add coconut milk, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, rum, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to a large blender. (Though coquito is usually made with Puerto Rican rums such as Don Q or Bacardi, you can use whatever rum you have on hand: white, dark, spiced; anything goes!)
  2. Blend until well-combined. Transfer to a pitcher, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least four hours. (Overnight is preferred). 
  3. Prepare serving glasses by moistening rims in a little milk and covering with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside until dry.
  4. Pour the coquito mix into the rimmed glasses, garnishing with a cinnamon stick and a few star anise.

Pro tip: Turn this recipe into a virgin or vegan version by omitting the rum and substituting the milk with nondairy options such as vegan coconut condensed milk or coconut evaporated milk.

How long does Coquito last?

You can store coquito in a covered pitcher in the fridge for up to a week. Some separation may occur as the liquid sits, so give coquito a good mix before serving. 

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