Holiday Drank: Coquito


Coquito prepared and photographed by Jeff Kaplan ’14.

Coquito is a traditional Puerto Rican drink made for Christmas celebrations. Its similar to eggnog in its richness and use of rum, but the custardy flavor is lightened with coconut milk. I first tried it last year, when a family friend of my girlfriend gifted a bottle: an cute, repurposed honey jar with a white ribbon tied around it. It can be a nice gift idea for friends and family, or just to share among them! Generally, its not meant to be guzzled (however tempting) but sipped as a treat with a meal. Whenever you decide to drink it though, it’ll be a tasty treat!

These two recipes produce a pretty different product, but are both delicious in their own right. The first one retains a bit more of the coconut flavor, and is probably easier to pull together from stuff you might have lying around. If you’re looking to go all out though, the second recipe’s infusion of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves produces a creamy concoction that is… I’m just going to go refill my glass.


Makes about 8 cups

2 cups coconut milk (about 1.5 cans)

1 cup of sugar

3 cups of Milk

4 egg yolks*

1 ½ cups of White Rum (spiced is also acceptable)

Separate the egg yolks from the whites (use the whites in an omelet the next morning!) and place the yolks in a bowl and beat them until smooth. Very gradually add the sugar while beating it into the eggs, only adding more when it’s completely incorporated. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until they are smooth and frothy (or throw them in a blender, if you have one!). The coconut milk will likely be solid because of its high fat content. This can leave little coconutty chunks in the final product so you may want to warm it up before using it. Either place the can near a radiator just long enough for it to be shakeable, or heat it in a pan until melted. Transfer to a jar/bottle/pitcher and refrigerate. Serve cold in shotglasses, or other small glasses with a dusting of cinnamon on top.

*If you’re worried about raw eggs, you don’t have to put them in.

Coquito prepared and photographed by Jeff Kaplan ’14.
Coquito prepared and photographed by Jeff Kaplan ’14.


Makes about 6 cups

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 (2 inch long) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into about 6 pieces

1 (15 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk

1 cup white rum (again, spiced will also work)

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for garnish

Start by adding the evaporated milk, cloves, cinnamon stick, and ginger to a small pot and bringing it to a boil. Once there, remove it from the heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Throw it in the fridge to cool down to room temperature. In the meantime, add your egg yolks to a bowl and scramble them. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and strain the spiced evaporated milk in as well, discarding the solid spices. Whip everything together until frothy, transfer to another container, and enjoy once its cold! If you have a blender, you can skip beating the eggs, and just put them, the strained spiced milk, and the rest of the ingredients into the blender and running it until everything is frothy. Serve with ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.