I’ve got a friend from Puerto Rico and a few years ago, she introduced me to her favorite Christmastime cocktail from back on the island: coquito.
You guys. If you don’t already, you NEED to know about coquito.
I grew up in central Minnesota, and I come from a long line of Eastern Europeans who settled in the Midwestern part of the U.S. So let’s face it, Puerto Rican cocktails were never really in my purview. But let me tell you, ever since my friend introduced me to coquito, I’m sold on this stuff. If you’ve only had the kind of eggnog we have here on the mainland, you are missing out.
Coquito is thick and creamy like the eggnog I’ve always known and loved, but with the added benefit of also being coconut and cinnamon flavored. Plus, it’s got rum in it. So, you know. WIN.
How to make coquito
In a small saucepan over low heat, add two egg yolks and a can of evaporated milk. Stir constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remember, you’re dealing with raw eggs here, so reaching 160 degrees is important from a food safety perspective.
Speaking of reading food temperatures, if you’re in the market for a good instant read thermometer, I highly recommend the ThermoPop. I’ve got a red one and I love it. It’s always accurate and displays the temp within just a few seconds. Not sure what more you could ask for from a thermometer.
A few other important things to keep in mind while you’re heating up the egg yolks and evaporated milk: Don’t turn your burner up too high, and be sure to stir constantly. You should gently and slowly heat up the eggs and evaporated milk at a very low temperature. If the heat is too high or you don’t stir it consistently enough, you risk ending up with a scalded, clumpy mess. Yuck.
Once your egg yolks and evaporated milk have reached the magic temperature of 160 degrees, pour the mixture into a blender and add the rest of the ingredients to the blender along with it. Blend until it’s all well mixed, about 30 seconds.
Pour the coquito into a glass container and stick it in the fridge for a few hours to chill — a few hours will do the trick, but overnight is even better. My Puerto Rican friend stored her coquito in empty wine bottles that were re-corked. But I didn’t happen to have any wine bottles lying around, so I used trusty old mason jars to store mine.
When you’re ready to serve, give your jar or bottle a little shake to mix it all up. Then pour into glasses and sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top as a garnish, if you want to be really fancy.
I’d recommend enjoying a cool, creamy glass of coquito with a big plate of of your favorite Christmas cookies. Like maybe my Grandma Izzy’s epic sugar cookies.
Feliz Navidad, mis amigos.
A traditional Puerto Rican Christmas cocktail that's creamy and coconut flavored.
- 2 egg yolks beaten
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 14 oz coconut milk
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup white rum
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine egg yolks and evaporated milk in a sauce pot over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F.
Pour the mixture to a blender, and add the remaining ingredients. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into mason jars or empty wine bottles and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.