You’ve probably heard of eggnog, but have you heard of coquito? Coquito is Puerto Rican eggnog, the perfect light, creamy egg-free Christmas drink to celebrate the season!
Christmas is that special time of year when we all let our hair down, attend parties, and maybe have a few too many festive cocktails. Eggnog is the first tipple that comes to mind – rich, creamy, full of festive spice, and garnished with cinnamon sticks. It’s a once-a-year kind of cocktail, and only during the season of goodwill and eating ourselves silly would we drink what a boozy liquid dessert is!
If for any reason you don’t fancy traditional eggnog this year, though, my recipe for Puerto Rican eggnog is a refreshing twist on the much-loved but heavy classic. Not only that, but it’s so quick and easy to make, and within moments your guests will be enjoying a smooth, light, and creamy drink to toast the season!
How do you make coquito, though? Check out my guide to find out!
ARE COQUITO AND EGGNOG THE SAME?
Both coquito and eggnog have key similarities – they are both creamy Christmassy drinks with a naughty shot of booze. However, there are some key differences:
1) Eggnog is made with eggs, hence the name. However, coquito is made with a coconut milk base, giving the drink a wonderfully light and refreshing twist.
2) In eggnog, the eggs are beaten with cream and sugar, whereas in Puerto Rican eggnog, the other ingredients are evaporated milk and condensed milk
3) Eggnog can be made with rum, brandy, or whiskey. However, coquito is a white rum drink as the alcohol originates in Puerto Rico and is a famous ingredient in their flavorful tropical cocktails like pina Coladas!
These light creamy ingredients are refreshing, carrying the fragrant coconut flavor – in fact, ‘coquito’ means ‘little coconut’; in Cuba, they serve coquito with scoops of coconut ice cream.
SHOULD YOU MAKE COQUITO WITH EGGS OR WITHOUT EGGS?
Some coquito recipes include eggs and therefore can be a lot more complicated to make.
These recipes require a double boiler that acts as a bain-marie to cook out the eggs and keep them silky smooth.
Egg-based cocktails are very common as egg white is often added to the cocktail shaker for any sour cocktail. Amaretto Sour, Gin Sour, Whiskey Sour, and the egg white create a beautiful frothy head on top of the drink. This is the same in eggnog, and the foam looks picturesque, lightly dusted with nutmeg. Plus, eggnog and some coquito recipes include the egg yolks for a thicker drink and richer flavor. So you’re essentially serving a boozy spiced custard in a glass.
Whether you add eggs to your coquito recipe is up to you. Without eggs, my coquito recipe is so quick to make! Plus it lasts longer in the fridge, so you can make a big batch and top up your coquito glass throughout the Christmas period! However, they are not essential for the light coconut flavor.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE COQUITO?
Not only is my Puerto Rican eggnog recipe great for a Christmas party, a quiet night in, or New Year’s Eve, it is a perfect gift for friends and family. Double or triple the recipe and pour it into pretty bottles to present this Christmas.
So, if you’re a bit stuck for gift ideas, then try my recipe for coquito – you will need:
Coconut milk or cream: Some traditional coquito recipes call for coconut cream. However, with all the other ingredients (plus all the other treats of the season), it can feel heavy, so if you prefer a lighter version, try coconut milk instead.
Sweetened condensed milk: Condensed milk and evaporated milk are very similar – they are preserved milk with reduced water content. Condensed milk has added sugar, is thick and creamy, is often added to desserts. It is the base for dulce de leche (one of the most delicious inventions of all time).
Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk is not sweet and has a thinner consistency. It’s added for richness and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
White rum: A Puerto Rican cocktail essential! Bacardi is one of the most famous white rums globally, which originally hailed from Cuba and is now made in Puerto Rico.
Vanilla extract: To complement the creamy coconut and spice.
Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove: These three spices are the scent of Christmas, and all three are favorites in warming cocktails, including whiskey toddies, mulled wine, and cider.
Cinnamon sticks: To garnish your beautiful coquito!
HOW LONG DOES COQUITO LAST?
It depends on how much you drink!
Stored in an airtight container or bottle in the fridge, it will last for two weeks… but you may find it’s all gone after a couple of days!
Try a new light and coconutty cocktail this Christmas and New Year with my Puerto Rican eggnog recipe!
OTHER PUERTO RICAN INSPIRED RECIPES
COQUITO – PUERTO RICAN EGGNOG
- 2 cups Coconut milk or cream
- 2 cups Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cup Evaporated milk
- ½ cup White rum
- 1 treaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Ground clove
- Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon for garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
- Once well combined, bottle it up and place it in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
- Before serving, stir well and decorate the glasses with a cinnamon stick on the side or sprinkle some cinnamon spice on top.