Coquito is a Puerto Rican eggnog like drink prepared with coconut milk that is traditionally served on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve).
For Latinos, the Christmas Holidays are more than just opening presents on Christmas morning. It is about family, food, festivity. It is about happiness, laughter, joy. It is about music, dance, and being loud. Yes, LOUD! It’s in our nature. We can’t help it, sorry.
In the Dominican Republic (DR), the Christmas festivities begin late October, early November bringing with it a complete change in the country’s atmosphere. You can feel it in the evening chill breeze that comes with the season in a country where it’s burning hot year-around. You can hear it in the music that floods the radio waves on every home, running car and Colmadón (a type of business where people get together to have drinks and listen to very loud music) in the country.
The festivities run all the up to New Years, but my favorite of all is Nochebuena (Christmas Eve). On this day, families get together for a big home gathering with lots of food, drinks, music, dancing and overall fun. Neighbors usually share in on that fun passing by and sharing food. It is the happiest time of the year and most of my greatest and happiest memories happened on Nochebuena.
In the spirit of the holidays, I will share with you some of my favorite recipes for this time of the year. Some of this recipes I learn back home in DR, others I acquired here in the US of A.
Ladies and gentlemans, I give you el Coquito!
Coquito is a Puerto Rican eggnog like drink prepared with coconut milk that is traditionally served on Nochebuena. There are many variations to this drink, but the base ingredients are always the same: coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and Caribbean Rum.
I never had Coquito in DR. We have a popular holiday eggnog like drink in the island called Ponche Crema, but I have yet to find a good recipe for it. My first time trying Coquito was a few years back when I received a bottle of it as a Christmas present from a good long time friend. After that it just became the drink to hunt down once the holidays arrived. That is until I learned to make my own.
For this recipe I used evaporated milk, sweet condensed milk, coconut milk, coconut cream and Bacardi light rum. For the spices, I used cinnamon and nutmeg, and added a little vanilla extract for some extra flavor. I did not use eggs because I wanted to keep the recipe light and simple.
Serve cold in small drink glasses, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on the top and enjoy.
- 1 (14 oz) can sweet condensed milk
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 1 (15 oz) can coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 and 1/2 cups light rum
In a blender, combine condense milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk and coconut cream.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Finally, add the rum. Blend until all is well combined.
Pour into a glass bottles, seal tightly and refrigerate.
Serve cold in small drink glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Shake well before serving.
Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for about a week.