I’m on a mission to take over the internet with Coquito Recipes. So far, I’m doing a fantastic job of turning tons of regular-shmegular recipes into their best coquito versions, but I think I can do more. If you are a fan of the Puerto Rican cocktail, read on for my all-time favorite versions of this island favorite.
What is Coquito?
Coquito is a traditional holiday rum punch from Puerto Rico. Some recipes add eggs to the coconut milk and rum mixture to make it thicker and creamier. As a result, people have taken to referring to it as Puerto Rican eggnog, but that’s not a completely accurate description. When the drink contains eggs, it ceases to be called coquito, and instead, it becomes ponche. That said, I’m not a stickler for eggs or no eggs. Mine just needs to have the rum in it. Some recipes for coquito include one type of rum. Bless their hearts. I’m over here like, “How much rum can we add before we go blind?” No, I’m kidding. Drink responsibly. I do add three different rums to mine, but even still, it’s nowhere near as strong as the old-school Puerto Rican version.
Old-school coquito was made with fresh coconut, pitorro (sugar cane moonshine), and cinnamon sticks. Because I don’t have a still in the backyard- yet- I used to make my coquito with 3 cups of 151. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on whose liver we’re asking, it became too hard to buy here in the States. But when I did use it…shooooooooo!! That drink was strong. Now, I use the three different rums to keep some potency in my version.
How many Coquito Recipes does one site need?
As many as I can create, honestly, I can never get enough of this drink. There’s no better combination than coconut, rum, and cinnamon, and I’m willing to debate that to the death. I promise you that by the time I’m done, this site will have the most coquito recipes on the internet. Mark my words.
Drama aside, there are so many ways to incorporate this Puerto Rican classic into a recipe. It seamlessly goes from breakfast to brunch (let’s skip lunch and dinner) to dessert and cocktails. I always manage to think up new ways to add it to something. So much so, in fact, that I already have a notebook full of recipe ideas. I just need another me to get them all on the site.
How do I make Coconut Milk for these recipes at home?
If you want to make the best coquito, you should try starting with freshly made coconut milk. Use this tutorial on how to make coconut milk at home.
Fresh coconut milk makes all the difference in every recipe, but especially these coquito recipes. While I will admit it’s a process, it pays huge dividends when you taste it. Coconut milk tastes fresher when it doesn’t come from a can. It’s also creamier and richer in flavor. I begin all of my coquito recipes by making a fresh batch of coconut milk. The first time I did it, I was blown away by how much purer the coquito itself tasted. I was a total convert after allowing it to mellow out and giving the rum time to meld with the other flavors.
For me, the labor of making the coconut milk from scratch was well worth it in taste.
Legendary Coquito (Drink) Recipes
People around the world know and love my OG Coquito recipe. I have been making it for decades now, and every time the Army moved us to new duty locations, it became a favorite of people who tried it. The main reason is that I’m not afraid to make it boozy. I’m also very religious about allowing it time to cure. When you cure the coquito, the rum loses its “bite.” So much so, in fact, that it makes for a very unassuming, very powerful drink.
Because my kiddos love coquito as much as we do, I always make a virgin batch for them. Over the years of developing and perfecting this original recipe, I’ve been able to make versions for every diet. There’s a vegan, virgin, quick, quick-vegan, quick-virgin, an old-school, and the recipe I use in this post. You’re bound to find a recipe that works for you and your crew.
I don’t even remember the year I developed this Coquito Cheesecake recipe. What I do know is that it blew up as soon as folks got wind of it. I don’t know if it’s the creamy NY-style cheesecake itself or the coquito sauce topping, but people fell in love, whatever it was.
This dessert requires 2 cups of prepared coquito, so it’s great if you have a bottle leftover from your holidays. If I’m honest, I reserve a bottle from the 4 batches I make every year to use in recipes like this one. I highly recommend doing so. Grab a cheesecake pan and set some cream cheese out to soften because this may become your new obsession, too.
These Coquito Cake Donuts are my daughter’s favorite donuts ever. They start with a batch of my Easy Cake Donuts dough. After frying, I top them with thick coconut-rum frosting, then garnish them with toasted coconut flakes dusted in cinnamon.
If you’re looking for a new way to do breakfast, I highly recommend these donuts. Even if you don’t use the cake donut recipe I linked (booooooo), you can still make them. Just use cake or yeast donuts that you buy from your grocer’s bakery aisle or from a donut shop. These are a great option for brunch, too. Just fry the donuts the day before and store them in a storage container after letting them cool down, just before serving frost and garnish them.
Café con leche is a must with these.
You can soak this light-as-air sponge cake in regular coquito, but I use a virgin version for the sake of the kiddos. No need to introduce them to delinquency at a young age. Instead, use the quick coquito recipe in the linked post to create a milk bath in which you soak the sponge cake. Afterward, top the fluffy cake with a rum whipped cream and a generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
This tres leches is a fantastic holiday dessert, but my friends and family love it more during the warm summer months.
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Speaking of a great summer recipe, this Coconut-Rum Cream Pie is another one for those hotter days. My Flaky Pie Dough forms the base for this cold pie. Make the coconut-rum custard with fresh milk and eggs on the stovetop and allow it to cool before filling the buttery pie shell. The final touch is a generous topping of freshly whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes.
If you aren’t a huge fan of making pie dough from scratch, use a store-bought shell. Even the whipped cream topping can be a cheat. Just use a high-quality whipped cream since that coconut custard is accustomed to a certain way of living.
To make this pie even more indulgent, add shaved dark chocolate to the top along with the toasted coconut flakes.
If you want to impress a bunch of Caribbeans, serve these Coquito Cookies during the holiday season instead of those played out pinwheel joints. These cookies are fluffy beyond comprehension. My eyes roll back in my head every time I eat them.
They have coquito baked into the cookie batter and blended into the buttercream frosting. So, no matter if you eat them frosted or naked (the cookies, not you), you’re going to get the coquito hit you’re looking for. Both the cookie dough and the frosting are make-ahead friendly as well. You can also freeze the cookies after baking them. No matter what, these cookies are going to switch up the cookie gifting game this year.
Which of these Coquito Recipes was your favorite?
My all-time favorite recipe- besides the coquito itself- is the Coquito Cheesecake. Hector loves the Coquito cookies because he says they remind him of his childhood. The girl child, again, loves the donuts. And our son is a huge fan of the tres leches.
Which do you think will be your favorite? Or do you already have one? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to pin this post to your board and go make your batch of coquito!