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Two coupe glasses filled with coquito on a white and red towel in front of a bottle of coquito and beside a cracked coconut and whole spices.
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Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut-Rum Cocktail)

This staple of the Puerto Rican holiday season needs to become a tradition of yours. Begin at least 2 days ahead (to allow for curing).
See Notes for vegan, virgin, and fresh coconut milk versions.
Course Libations
Cuisine Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican/Hispanic
Keyword cinnamon, coconut, coquito, rum
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
curing time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 25 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 358kcal

Equipment

  • Large capacity blender
  • 3 one-liter swing-top bottles (or bottles with screw-on caps)

Ingredients

For the Spiced Tea

  • 1/2 cup filtered water or coconut water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries

For the Coquito

  • 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 15 ounce can cream of coconut
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt optional
  • 1/2 cup gold rum
  • 1/2 cup spiced Rum
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 sticks cinnamon (optional, used for bottling)

Optional Eggnog Version

  • 4 large very fresh egg yolks

Instructions

Make the Spiced Tea

  • In a small saucepan combine the water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla bean, cloves, and allspice berries.
    Bring the water up to a boil over medium-heat heat. Boil the tea for 2 minutes. Turn the stove off an allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the spices from the tea and press the paste from the vanilla into the strained tea.
    Set aside to flavor the coquito.

Blend the Coquito

  • Add the tea, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg to a large capacity (60 ounce) blender.
    Add the coconut milk, cream of coconut, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, salt, and all three rums to the spices and tea in the blender.
    If you're adding egg, do so now, then blend this mixture for one minute on low speed.
  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender, then blend for an additional 30 seconds- 1 minute on medium speed. 

Strain and Cure the Coquito

  • Add 2-3 cinnamon sticks to very clean glass bottles. 
    Strain the coquito through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a large pitcher to remove excess foam from the liquid. Discard the foam.
  • Pour the strained coquito into the bottles, leaving at least 1" of headspace in each bottle. 
    Cap the bottles and refrigerate for at least 48 hours to age.
  • Ten to 15 minutes minutes prior to serving, remove the bottle of coquito from the refrigerator to allow the fat in the coquito to warm up.
    Give the coquito a vigorous shake to mix the spices that will have settled. Serve cold.

Notes

The alcohol in this recipe will cure the coquito for at least a year- maybe longer.
If your coquito is still very thick after allowing it to warm, try to pour it into the blender to blend it again. 

Tea-less Coquito:

Replace the whole spices with the following:
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (in addition to the cinnamon added to the coquito)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (in addition to the vanilla extract added to the coquito)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of ground allspice
Add these spices to the coquito along with the ground cinnamon and nutmeg just before blending. 

Old-School Coquito:

  • 6 cups freshly pressed coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups 151 rum
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
   Blend the ingredients for 1 minute. Strain and bottle as instructed above. 

"Updated" Old-School Coquito:

  • 3 cups freshly pressed coconut milk
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk or condensed coconut milk
  • 15 ounce can cream of coconut
  • spices and spiced tea as listed above
  • rum as listed above
Blend the ingredients for 1 minute. Strain and bottle as instructed above. 

Quick Vegan Coquito:

  Blend the ingredients for 1 minute. Strain and bottle as instructed above. 

Eggnog Version:

  • Use the freshest eggs you have access to to avoid any illnesses. As with any recipe that includes raw eggs, the chance of contracting a foodborne illness is higher. Consume any coquito made with eggs at your own risk.
  • Add the egg yolks to the blender just after adding the spices. Continue as instructed above. 

Virgin and/or Vegan Coquito:

  • Substitute water or coconut milk for the rums. Make as instructed. 
Because virgin coquito doesn't contain alcohol, it will only be good for one week after blending. Make it when you know you're going to be able to finish it within that time. Virgin coquito does not need to cure the 2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg